Photo by Martin Falbisoner, via Wikimedia Commons

Maryland’s new paid sick leave law is nearly on the books, but a proposal to delay its implementation until the summer has advanced in Annapolis.

State senators today voted 28-16 to push back the day the new law takes effect until July 1.

The General Assembly voted last year to require businesses with at least 15 employees to give full-timers five days of paid sick leave per year and allow part-timers to accrue sick leave time as well. Smaller businesses would also be required to let employees accrue unpaid sick leave.

Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the bill in May 2017, saying it was overly burdensome to small businesses, but the Democrat-heavy General Assembly overturned his veto on the first day of the session last month. Under state law, a bill becomes law 30 days after an override of a governor’s veto.

Charles County Sen. Thomas Middleton, who co-sponsored the paid leave bill, proposed the a bill requiring a two-month delay in implementation so as to give small businesses more time to prepare for the change and adjust payroll systems. An amendment added today extended the delay to July.

The measure now heads to the House of Delegates. If lawmakers don’t act, the paid sick leave law will take effect on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Hogan’s office has criticized the new law, saying it has “serious flaws.” The governor has proposed a tax credit bill for small businesses that his office says “will provide direct aid to help with compliance costs” for the new paid sick leave requirements. His proposal hasn’t advanced out of committee in either house.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...