Maryland Senate Passes “Wal-Mart Bill”
Annapolis, Md., Maryland’s Senate passed what has been called the “Wal-Mart bill”—a proposal to fine big employers if they don’t spend the equivalent of 8% of their payroll on medical insurance for employees.
The bill was previously vetoed by Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich. However, it advanced to the House of Representatives on a 30-17 Senate override vote. The proposal headed to the House, which is expected to pass it into law.
The measure applies to Maryland employers who have more than 10,000 workers. The employers must pay a penalty to the state’s health-insurance program if they fall short of the 8% threshold. Of all of Maryland’s employers, only Wal-Mart doesn’t meet the bill’s standards.
Wal-Mart employs 16,988 workers at 53 stores and two warehouses in Maryland.
The bill is being closely watched by legislatures around the country.
SuperValu Opens First Organic Foods Store
Minneapolis, SuperValu cut the ribbon on its first Sunflower Market store, the food wholesaler’s new organic-foods concept. The Indianapolis location occupies 12,000 sq. ft. and stocks between 8,000 and 12,000 SKUs. SuperValu plans to have 50 Sunflower Supermarket locations within five years.
Saks Names HR Head
Birmingham, Ala., Saks, Inc. named Charles G. Tharp executive VP of human resources. He will oversee human resources for the entire company from Saks’ New York City office. Tharp was most recently a professor of human resources at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations.