Oppose Expanded Employer Mandates During a Public Health Emergency




A hearing has been scheduled in the House next week, Tuesday, March 2 at 1:30 p.m. on House Bill 1326, legislation that would make changes to the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act during a declared state of public health emergency including: 1) repealing certain exemptions for on-call employees; 2) requiring employers to allow employees to use earned sick and safe leave during a public health emergency; 3) requiring certain employers to provide employees sick and safe leave on the date that a public health emergency is declared; 4) requiring an employer to provide certain earned sick and safe leave regardless of the employee’s length of employment; among many other things.


There are a number of significant challenges and unintended consequences that will result from the imposition of expanded leave mandates on employers. 


If enacted, HB 1326 would:

·    Remove the agricultural and temp worker exemption from the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

·    Expand the definition of a family member to include someone whose “close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship”

·    Require an employer to provide an additional 14 business days, or 112 hours, of new paid sick and safe leave for full time employees during a declared public health emergency, and an equivalent amount of leave for part time employees

·    Require an employer to provide said leave regardless of how long an employee has been employed with them

·    Allows an employer to require advance notice for leave “if practicable”, but does not allow an employer to require documentation


Maryland’s job creators cannot reasonably be expected to comply with the expanded mandates contained within HB 1326, especially now, as they struggle to juggle previously passed employer mandates and the operational and economic implications of COVID-19.


Contact your legislators and tell them now is not the time to burden employers with expanded mandates. Act now and be directly connected with your legislators.