Wal-Mart in Maryland must spend more on worker health
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland legislators voted Thursday to enact a first-in-the-nation requirement that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spend more on employee health care. The measure, touted as a money-saver for the state-supported Medicaid program, takes effect despite the governor’s veto of the bill. Labor unions have said they are seeking similar legislation this year in at least 30 other states. Supporters of the measure say the retailing giant unfairly takes advantage of taxpayer-funded health care plans because some workers are paid too little for them to afford Wal-Mart’s health insurance. “The taxpayers are giving a health-care subsidy to the largest retailer on earth,” argued Democratic Delegate Kumar Barve. The House and Senate, both controlled by Democrats, both notched the three-fifths margins needed to override a veto last May by Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich. The bill requires companies with more than 10,000 Maryland employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on employee health care or pay the difference into the state’s Medicaid fund. Of the state’s large employers, only Wal-Mart spends less than 8 percent on health care. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The company employs about 17,000 Marylanders at more than 40 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores, and about 1.3 million people nationwide. Critics of the legislation called it a dangerous precedent that ultimately would cost Maryland jobs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!