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Maryland Governor Vetoes Paid Sick Leave Law

On May 25, 2017, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (the “Act”) that had been passed by the Maryland General Assembly. As we previously reported, had the Act been approved by Governor Hogan, it would have required employers with 15 or more employees to provide their employees with 40 hours of paid sick and safe leave annually beginning on January 1, 2018.  Smaller employers (those employers with 14 or fewer employees) would have been required to provide their employees with 40 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave annually.

Although Governor Hogan vetoed the Act, he “agree[d] that more workers need paid sick leave in Maryland.” Governor Hogan, however, called the Act “an irresponsible piece of legislation that unfairly penalizes the hundreds of thousands of hard working men and women who own and operate small businesses in our state.”  He further noted that the Act is “a complicated, broad, and inflexible proposal.”  Instead, the Governor pushed for “a common sense paid sick leave policy that is fair, bipartisan, and balanced.”  He advocated for a proposal that balances paid sick leave benefits “without placing a significant burden on job creators.”

Governor Hogan’s veto is not a surprising development, as he had previously threatened to do so. That said, both the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate passed the legislation with enough votes to override such a veto.  Although Maryland lawmakers likely will not have the opportunity to override the veto until next year’s legislative session, House Speaker Michael E. Busch said that a veto override will be a priority for the General Assembly in January.

© 2019 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Guy Brenner, Labor Attorney, Proskauer Rose, arbitration proceedings Lawyer

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues,...


Ryan H. Hutzler is a law clerk in the Labor & Employment Law Department.

Ryan is a 2015 graduate, with honors, of The George Washington University Law School, where he was on The George Washington Law Review and Moot Court Board. He was the 2014 recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition Award. Ryan was a Proskauer summer associate in 2014 and clerked with the firm throughout his fourth year of law school, working with the labor and employment team in Washington, D.C.