Maryland Senate gives preliminary approval to paid sick leave

Maryland Senate gives preliminary approval to paid sick leave

The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval to a paid sick leave bill last week and is expected to give final approval this week. If it passed, the final bill would have to be reconciled with the House version before being sent to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Senate bill would require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide five days of paid sick leave annually to full-time workers. That measure was scaled back from a previous version requiring six days. The House version requires seven. Smaller companies would be required to provide leave also, but on an unpaid status.

Sen. Thomas –Mac” Middleton, a Charles County Democrat who is the billês lead sponsor, introduced an amendment this week that would give a hardship exemption to companies that can prove they would go out of business if they had to offer the leave.

Gov. Hogan is sticking with his version of paid sick leave, which is stuck in committee and provides for leave only for businesses with 50 or more employees. Because more than half of senators have sponsored the bill that sets the floor at 15 employees, the Senate could likely override any veto from the governor in favor of more stringent legislation.

Still to be worked out between the House and Senate versions are issues such as the definition of a part-time worker and an exempt seasonal worker.

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