A proposed bill sponsored by five members of the Montgomery County Council would require property owners to continue paying laborers for three months even if their employing general contractor is fired.
Councilmembers Valerie Ervin, Marc Elrich, Craig Rice and Council Vice President Nancy Navarro support County Bill 19-12—the “Displaced Worker Protection Act”—which would mandate that if a property owner dismisses a contractor, they must retain the employees for 90 days. If a replacement contractor is brought in, that new one must hire the employees.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been a strong proponent of the bill and participated in a news conference on Monday with the five councilmembers, according to Montgomery County press release.
Councilman George Leventhal (D-At Large), who opposes the proposal, had some harsh word for his fellow councilmembers during a Montgomery County Council Health and Human Services Committee meeting, according to a Washington Examiner story:
"If we pass this bill we're doing it for one local," said Leventhal. "I do not only work for SEIU 32BJ. My colleagues may feel they do. I don't. I work for all the people—all the people, all the workers of Montgomery County. This bill was introduced at the behest of one local, and it protects the workers who are respectively represented by one local. I think that's a concern,” he continued.
While Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner removed the vote on the bill from today’s agenda, the five supporters can still motion for a vote.
Stay tuned to Patch for updates on this developing story.