On January 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (by overriding the Governor's veto). The law adds mandatory sick leave requirements for Maryland Employers. The law is the first of its kind in the State. Below are seven (7) things you must know about the law:
1. When does the law take effect? The new sick leave law is scheduled to take effect February 11, 2018.
2. What employers are covered? Maryland employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide unpaid sick leave to their employees. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide paid sick leave.
3. What employees are not covered? The following employees are not entitled to leave:
- Work fewer than 12 hours a week;
- Under the age of 18;
- Certain agricultural workers;
- Certain real estate brokers and salespersons;
- As-needed basis workers in the health or human services industry;
- Construction workers covered by CBA;
- Certain temp agency employees.
4. What about contractors? Independent contractors are not covered.
5. How much leave do employees get? Employees must earn one (1) hour of sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked. Employees can accrue up to forty (40) hours of paid leave a year. Employees can carry over up to 40 hours of paid leave a year. However, employers can cap the amount of paid leave actually used by an employee at 64 hours per year.
6. When can employees use leave? An eligible employee must be allowed to use leave in the following circumstances:
- Care for the physical or mental health of the employee or a family member;
- Maternity or paternity leave; or
- To obtain relief in response to domestic or sexual assault of the employee or a family member.
7. Does an employee have to give notice? An employer can require up to seven (7) days' notice for the use of foreseeable leave. An employer may implement policies to ensure leave is taken properly.
Thatcher Law Firm regularly advises businesses and employees on their rights to leave in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Businesses must be aware that local jurisdictions may enact its own leave laws that require different policies. For example, Montgomery County has its own leave law (Montgomery County Leave Law). Please contact us if you have any questions regarding leave policies.