Businesses worried about new employer bill


MARYLAND – Rising concerns among local businesses are spreading as Maryland legislators debate a bill that would create a number of new employer mandates and costs.

Many restaurants agree, now is not the time to implement major extra costs for employers. Smaller businesses say, they’re very worried if this bill passes because it may be the end for some if the pandemic doesn’t let up.

“They were sick I mean they were literally sick, and so distressed,” says Senator Addie Eckardt, who says this was the response from local businesses after news of the potential bill.

At the end of this week, Maryland legislators will address the bill that would create new employer mandates and costs such as, hazard pay, financial assistance for health care costs, and universal health and bereavement leave.

“It feels to me like we’re throwing everybody in the deep cold water and saying fend for yourself because it’s almost impossible to deliver what is outlined in this bill,” says Sen. Eckardt.

Sen. Eckardt also adds, this bill is not a one size fit all. She goes on to say, whether you are a small business with three employees or a larger one with a hundred, this is going to affect everyone, and most, not for the good.

“I think people are really grappling with their existence their livelihood, how do we move forward in uncertain times,” says Sen. Eckardt.

Business owners and restaurant owners have reportedly been hit hard by the pandemic, and many of them say they are so worried about this bill passing.
One local restaurant owner said quote, “This is just the worst time for a bill like this to go into affect. Businesses are struggling to maintain businesses. Now making us deal with extra costs that aren’t necessary right now, businesses are going to have close.”

Sen. Eckardt says, “I know folks want better wages and want better benefits but I don’t think this is the way to do it.”

There is currently no republican sponsorship of the bill, and this bill is being brought to the table to better serve employees during this time. However, many businesses are asking the community to reach out to legislators and take action against the bill.

“Everybody is just throwing everything against the wall and seeing what’s going to stick,” adds Sen. Eckardt.

Community members are asked to contact local legislators, and tell them how this bill could affect their local businesses. Bill sponsors who were unable to speak with 47 abc do note, they believe this bill would help employees.

House Bill 581 has been noticed for a hearing on Friday, February 5 at 11 a.m.

If you wish to oppose this bill, you can visit this website.

Categories: Local News, Local Politics, Maryland