Maryland Legislature Hears Bills to Expand Employment Regs

The Maryland General Assembly's House Economic Matters  and Senate Finance Committees will hear testimony this week and next on several bills that, if enacted, will place increased requirements on Maryland employers. Links to each bill are provided.

HB580/SB472 - the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act is a statewide sick leave bill that is similar, but not as onerous as the law passed last year in Montgomery County. GSSCC will join other chambers in an attempt to require the state bill, if passed, to supersede local regulations.  Hearings - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.

HB740/SB485 - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, championed by local Delegate Ariana Kelly and many in the County delegation, requires all employees to contribute to a state-run insurance fund that would provide up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for employees who need to care for a new child, a family member, the employee's health condition, and more. On the surface, this bill is less onerous than one being considered by some County Councilmembers that would require employers to provide paid family leave.  Hearings -  1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.

HB1175/SB664 - Fair Scheduling, Wages and Benefits Act, championed by Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher and many in the local delegation, requires employers to post employees' initial schedule at least 21 days in advance of the first scheduled work day, notify the employee within 24 hours of any changes, and provide a revised work schedule. The schedules and changes must be posted at the work site.  Employers must also provide "predictability pay" for schedule changes, among other requirements.  Hearing - 1 p.m. on  Wednesday, March 9 (House) and at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 (Senate).

HB1003/SB481 - Equal Pay for Equal Work prohibits an employer discriminating against an employee by paying one gender or gender identity at a rate less than the opposite sex or gender identity, prohibiting an employee from discussing wages, and numerous other provisions against the employer. This legislation would broaden the current equal pay provisions and is duplicative of existing EEOC laws. It could require employers to vastly increase record-keeping, create much more specific and detailed job descriptions and justify differing pay scales for what might seem the same position. This bill is expected to pass during this session. Hearing - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1 (House) and Thursday, March 3 (Senate).

GSSCC will be weighing in on these bills. Members are encouraged to do so also using these links: Delegate Dereck Davis, House Economic Matters Committee and Senator Thomas M.  Middleton, Senate Finance Committee, as well as members of the local Montgomery County Delegation. To find your delegate and Senator, click here and insert your business and/or home address in the space at the top.  Click "Find" to be directed to the page that lists your elected representatives. State representatives are near the bottom of the list.
"Maximize Your Impact & Grow the Community" Workshop

Join GSSCC's Non-Profit Team for the Maximize Your Impact & Grow the Community Workshop from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, at the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center (8633 Colesville Road). Representatives will discuss: effective ways businesses and their employees are involved with non-profits and the types of engagements that work; how a business and a non-profit can create a solid relationship rather than just a transaction; and how business involvement impacts the greater community and why that involvement is good for businesses. This free workshop is open to all GSSCC members. Register here today.
101 New Member Orientation Breakfast

Whether you are a new GSSCC member or a new employee of a long-time member, this FREE breakfast can help put your Chamber membership to work for you! Join us from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. this Wednesday, March 2, at Eggspectation (923 Ellsworth Drive). If you missed the January 101 due to snow, here's your second chance! Register here.
Celebrate the Grand Launch of Cornerstone Montgomery & CCI Health and Wellness Services

Join GSSCC from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 3, as we cut the ribbon for the Grand Launch of Cornerstone Montgomery & CCI Health and Wellness Services (1398 Lamberton Drive). Celebrate the launch of this integrated health care model that provides dental, medical, and behavioral health services under one roof. Drinks and light refreshments will be served at the open house. RSVP is required.  
Networking Breakfast at The Daily Dish

Join GSSCC for our March Business Networking Breakfast, scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at The Daily Dish (8301 Grubb Road). Enjoy a delicious breakfast, round table networking, and make great connections. Take advantage of our early-bird pricing, and click here to register.
GSSCC's Energy Co-op: What's in it for Your Business?

Heard about GSSCC's Energy Purchasing Co-op for businesses and residents?  But not sure what's in it for your business?  CQI Associates, the Chamber's Energy Co-op partner, will present an informational webinar discussing the Energy Co-op, how it compares to others options, and how it can reduce operational expenses. If you have been bombarded with mail, phone calls or door knocks from individuals seeking to switch you to another energy supplier this webinar is for you. Learn more about: regulations and consumer protection; the difference between the Energy Co-op and other energy purchasing options; rates and contract terms; how to avoid scams; how to read your energy bill; and more. Webinars will be offered at 1 p.m. on March 9, at 2 p.m. on March 16, and at 1 p.m. on March 22.  Advance registration is required.  Go to the CQI Associates home page, click on the date desired, and follow the steps to RSVP. Questions should be directed to Joe Tabeling at 443-472-3870.
Catylator Makerspace Hosts February Business-After-Hours

* Congratulations to Olazzo  for earning "Best Italian Restaurant (Readers' Pick)" in the Bethesda Magazine "Best of Bethesda."

* Congratulations to Adam S. Lowe Photography for being named among Bethesda Magazine's "Best of Bethesda" for the second year in a row. Click here to see the award.

* Join Arden Courts of Silver Spring for its free "Elder Law Series for Dementia Caregivers" with Melissa Wu. The educational seminars will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 2505 Musgrove Road, on Tuesday, March 8, Tuesday, March 15, and Tuesday, March 22. Click here for more information. RSVP by calling 301-847-3051 or emailing.

* Chad Mangum and members of his Bell Flowers team will head down to the family farm on the Eastern Shore next week to cut about 3,000 cherry blossom branches and rush them back to coolers in the shop to have them available for spring arrangements. Mangum's grandad planted about 200 cherry trees some years ago and they have been supplying the operation for years.

* Mica Lounge in the Sheraton Silver Spring will host a sampling of Flo wines by Marcus Johnson, along with live music performed by the local artist from 6 .m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 10. 

* Bibim owner Jung-Ah Park (JP) and the story behind her creation of Silver Spring's first Korean restaurant was featured in Bethesda Magazine. Click here to read.

* The Urban Winery owners Damon Georgia Callis were featured in a Montgomery Community Media segment when County Council Members toured the Silver Spring winery. Click here to watch the video.

* The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection - Division of Solid Waste Services is hosting a Business Recycling Seminar from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, at the Sheraton Silver Spring (8777 Georgia Avenue). The cost is $10 and includes parking, food, refreshments, and materials. Register online today at or call Maria Jimenez at 301-565-0770 x229.

* JK Moving Services, together with its sister company, CapRelo, announced the opening of its downtown Washington, DC office location. The new office joins the company's expansive real estate portfolio, including its Sterling, VA headquarters campus and Gaithersburg, MD office. Click here to read the article.

See your company's news here! GSSCC would be pleased to highlight news from our member companies in this section of the weekly e-news. Simply send us your information before close of business each Friday.     
Upcoming GSSCC Committee Meetings

* Young Professional's Network Meeting - 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2

Non-Profit Team Meeting - 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8

* Economic Development Committee Meeting - 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 17

* Membership Development Committee - 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22
 * Government Affairs Committee Meeting - 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 24 (Note: rescheduled to allow a presentation on the Montgomery County Executive's FY17 budget, after it has been released on March 15)

About GSSCC Committee/Team Meetings: All GSSCC members are welcome to participate in Chamber committees. Members are welcome to attend committee meetings to assess interest in joining a committee. Meetings are typically held in the GSSCC Conference Room. Advance RSVP is required and priority will be given to existing committee members when speakers are scheduled.

 Thank you to our 2015-2016 GSSCC Partners
Corporate Partners - Downtown Silver Spring; Lee Development Group; Montgomery College; Statland & Katz Insurance, Inc.; Washington Adventist Hospital

Business Partners - AFI Silver Theatre; Apex Home Loans; Bud Miller Associates, Inc.; Digital Industry; Discovery Communications; EagleBank; 
The Fillmore Silver Spring; Holy Cross Hospital; Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd.; Linowes & Blocher LLP; M&T Bank; The Tower Companies (The Blairs); United Therapeutics Corp.; Washington Property Company.

Partners - Adam S. Lowe Photography; Atlantech Online; EBA Ernest Bland Associates; Elite Personnel; 
My Office Products; Signs By Tomorrow;
Social & Scientific Systems.

 Friends- Harvey Maisel/Maisel Hollins Development