A divided Montgomery County Council on Tuesday approved legislation that provides temporary relief for many janitors, cooks and other service employees who work on contract jobs that are set to expire.

Approved by a 5-4 vote, the bill affects the county, private schools, large office buildings and many other institutions that replace contractors for service jobs. These institutions would be required to retain service workers employed during the old contract for up to three months of the new contract.

Council member Valerie Ervin (D-Eastern County) introduced the bill on behalf of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ. She said the legislation provides a modest layer of protection for workers. But many in the business community have described the bill as overly burdensome.

Meanwhile, the council unanimously approved legislation that requires all economic development grants larger than $500,000 to be approved by legislators.

The bill would also require the economic development director to brief council members on grants over $100,000 and the county executive to draft a county economic development plan by July 1, 2015, and every four years thereafter.