State Chamber of Commerce discusses impact of “fair scheduling” on Eastern Shore business

SALISBURY, Md. – “It literally restricts and handcuffs the business owner.”

Maryland’s Chamber of Commerce Vice President Larry Richardson Jr. expressing concern over a delegates proposed “restrictive” fair scheduling regulation.

Richardson spoke at the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon to discuss this proposed policy’s impact on Eastern Shore businesses.

If signed into law, the Department of Labor and Licensing would require that employers “Upon hiring an employee, must provide a three-week schedule up front,” Richardson said.

Primarily, that rule would apply to restaurants and retailers Richardson tells 47 ABC.

Here’s the problem: if employers have to make schedule changes, like when a worker calls out sick and they need someone else to cover that shift, “An employer can be subjected to fairly substantive fines even if they made an inadvertent error in their scheduling process.”

That’s if the employee reports that error to the Department of Labor Licensing and regulation.

As for those fines Richardson said, “For every time the business does it, that is per employee. So if you did it to five employees, that’s the penalty times five. It literally restricts and handcuffs the business owner and not only how they schedule but how they can adapt to changing circumstances.”

Although there’s nothing set in stone right now, the Chamber wants to make sure it doesn’t hit the floor in the first place.

Richardson said, “We don’t know if someone else is going to pick it up and push that issue. We’ve been having a number of conversations with legislators ever the interim session detailing out the concerns with this issue.”

Also at that luncheon, the vice president discussed terms of sick and safe leave for employees.

A bill was passed last year explaining that an employer with 15 or more employees must provide sick and safe leave accrued at onehour for every 30 hours worked up to a total of five days.

After 106 days, legislators say they’re allowed to use this leave.

However, the chamber is pushing for 120 days instead to prevent businesses from being short-staffed.

For example, when students come to work in Ocean City for summer work programs.

Their big concern is, “Come day 106, students are going start taking leave under this law leaving them very short changed because we all know the season in Ocean City runs a lot longer.”

Vice President Richardson also tells 47 ABC  while nothing has really been changed just yet, he expects the new legislative session to debate the 120 days versus the 106 days.

Categories: Local News, Maryland