Our mission is to protect and enhance the merit shop philosophy
within the construction industry, to speak for the industry to the public,
and to engage members to succeed in a challenging marketplace.
ABC of Metro Washington represents the interests of its members at the local and state levels of government regarding legislation and regulatory proposals which impact the merit construction industry. ABC lobbies on behalf of the industry in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties and in Annapolis. ABC of Metro Washington is recognized as the voice of the merit construction industry in these jurisdictions.
February 23, 2021
HB 581/SB 486: Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Bill
The Maryland General Assembly is now considering legislation (H.B. 581/S.B. 486) that, if passed, would require employers who employ “essential workers” to provide additional benefits and protections throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and during future emergencies.
The bill as written would create a number of new, costly, and onerous requirements such as:
- Paying $3.00 in hazard pay per hour for each pay period actually worked during an emergency, retroactive to the start of the State of Emergency in March 2020;
- Assisting with healthcare costs for employees with or without health coverage, including reimbursement and/or payment of copays and insurance premiums or assistance with obtaining and paying for health insurance coverage;
- Providing paid leave for emergency-related reasons, including three days of bereavement leave and 13 days of health leave;
- Reporting all positive cases of infectious diseases to the Maryland Department of Health and informing workers who may have been exposed;
- Developing and enforcing a Health Emergency Preparedness Plan, which must be submitted to local and state officials by December 31st of each year.
We are working diligently with leadership to address the impact that this legislation will have on our members and have proposed amendments that would address key components of the bill such as the removal of the hazard pay provisions, narrowing the definition of “State of Emergency,” and more.
H.B. 581/S.B. 486 has become ABC’s highest legislative priority this session. We will keep you apprised of any new developments as this legislation is currently under review by the General Assembly.