Governor Signs Legislation to Enhance Workers' Rights


(ANNAPOLIS, 5/4/10) -- Continuing his commitment to protect the rights of Maryland workers and build the State's middle class, Governor O'Malley today signed two bills that enhance workplace rights for state and local government employees. These bills build upon the O'Malley-Brown Administration's achievements in protecting Marylanders through such legislation as the Fair Share Act and the Workplace Fraud Act, both passed in 2009, and the nation's first Living Wage law, which requires employers working on state contracts to pay their employees a fair living wage that enables them to support their families.

"We are proud to stand with the working men and women of Maryland in the fight to create jobs, save jobs, and protect working families in these tough times, because Maryland's middle class deserves a government that fights on their side," said Governor O'Malley. "This legislation is another step in our fight to stand beside and behind Maryland's working families, as we work together to move our state forward, not backwards."

Today's bill signings include:

  • SB 887, Correctional Services - State Correctional Officers' Bill of Rights, establishes exclusive procedures and rights for the employment, investigation and discipline of a State employed correctional officer for alleged misconduct.
  • SB 590/HB 243, Fairness in Negotiations Act, establishes a Public School Labor Relations Board (PSLRB) to administer and enforce the labor relations laws for local boards of education and their employees. This bill repeals the State Board of Education's authority to decide public school labor relations disputes and the authority of the State Superintendent of Schools to declare labor impasses.

"Ensuring fair processes for dealing with workplace concerns and disputes enhances the O'Malley-Brown Administration's commitment to protecting employees' wages and rights and workplace safety and health. These commitments affect just about every Marylander and form a core part of our mission at DLLR's Division of Labor and Industry," said Alexander M. Sanchez, Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Commenting on SB 887, Gary D. Maynard, Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said, "We believe this legislation will improve correctional officer rights by giving all parties involved the time needed to fully investigate allegations of rule violations, while also affording officers adequate appeal rights."

"The bill will also protect the rights of correctional staff by providing the opportunity for a fair and objective review by a jury of their peers."