The Maryland General Assembly Starts Today

The Maryland General Assembly Starts Today

The Maryland General Assembly meets for only 90 days per year, unless a special session is needed.  The special sessions are always devoted to unresolved critical issues, like the budget, so any employment laws will have to be passed in the winter.

There is time yet to introduce bills, but some come in “prefiled.”  Among the interesting possibilities for this year:

A bill would prohibit the state, as a prospective employer, from asking about the criminal record of any applicant, at least until an interview is granted.   This may work to prevent whole-scale weeding out of peopel with a criminal record.

A feel-good bill would allow certain employees to take off work without penalty on the day that an immediately family member leaves or returns from active military duty abroad.

A more controversial bill seeks to limit covenants not to compete.  Someone who receives unemployment benefits would be freed of a non-compete covenant.  This bill takes a simple solution to a complex problem, which can be attractive.  An employee can’t get a new job and so dips into the unemployment benefit pool?  He’s unbound by the covenant.  This law would apply only to situations arising after October 1, 2013.

The General Assembly has a new website, where bills can be tracked.

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