On January 12, 2018, Maryland became the latest state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, when the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the bill last year. The bill – known as the Healthy Working Families Act – will become law on February 11, 2018, unless the General Assembly acts to delay its implementation.
How will the bill affect you?
Employers with 15 or more employees (includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees) must provide five days of paid sick and safe leave per year for employees to:
- Care for the physical or mental health of the employee or a member of employee’s family;
- Take maternity or paternity leave; or
- Use in connection with domestic violence or sexual assault of the employee or a member of the employee’s family.
Employers with 14 or fewer employees must provide five unpaid sick and safe leave days.
Employees will earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked and can accrue up to 40 hours of paid leave per year. Up to 40 hours of paid leave can be carried over from one year to the next. Employers are entitled to preclude an employee’s use of paid sick leave for the first 106 days of the employee’s employment. The bill also permits employers to limit employee use of paid sick leave in any given year to 64 hours.
Maryland employers will have to move quickly to ensure that their leave policies and practices are fully compliant with the new state law by February 12, 2018.
An additional challenge is looming for those employers with a business presence in Montgomery County, Maryland. The state paid leave bill will not affect the County’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law from 2016, which means that businesses with employees in Montgomery County will have to revise their paid leave policies and practices to sync with both state and county leave requirements.