By: Jeffrey Lippman  [2/22/22]

In 2018, the Maryland Legislature voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. This created the requirement of paid sick leave. The Act is often referred to as the Maryland Sick and Safe Leave law. The latter portion has led to many employers creating a general Personal Time Off policy so as not to be forced to parse what “safe leave” means. The legislative intent makes it clear that not only strict sick time was covered. The Act has been in effect since February 11, 2018. While there are certain carved out exceptions, the law applies to all employers, including governmental. There is a distinction between an employer with 15 or more employees and 14 or fewer. However, unlike many labor laws, smaller employers are not exempted.

Some exemptions are persons who routinely work less than 12 hours per week; construction; if one is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement; certain agricultural workers; certain (but not all Independent Contractors); and persons under 18 years of age at the beginning of the calendar years; certain as needed health or human services workers; persons employed by temporary staffing agencies or certain employment agencies for certain types of work. Obviously, it’s important to correctly identify how this law impacts you as an employer or employee. Even certain Independent Contractors are covered. New non-exempt employees must be on board 106 days before they are covered. Employers must provide notice of the contents of this Act to employees, including internal policies on notice, etc. The model poster created by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry has an acceptable model in poster form.

The basic rule is that for every 30 hours a covered employer works per week, they earn 1 hour of sick/safe leave. If an employer employs 15 or more employees, this leave must be paid. If an employer employs 14 or fewer employees, the leave may be unpaid. The Act provides an entitlement of 40 hours of covered leave annually. Leave may also be carried over provided the entitlement does not exceed 64 hours per applicable year. The paid leave must be at the same rate as that employee’s regular pay. Employers with frequent turnover are not exempted. The average monthly number of employees on payroll is the measure. Out of State work on behalf of the employer is also counted towards the times noted above. There are a number of specific provisions ranging from commission and tip-based employees to re-hired employees. Please contact our firm for an analysis of your particular situation, as this blog does not cover the nuances or the full content of the Act.

Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig, PLLC, has the expertise and resources to assist you in applying this, and related laws, to your particular situation(s) and provide you professional and reliable professional legal advice and opinions to help you ensure compliance and protect your rights in the employment law sector. To learn more about Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig and how we assist you, contact us by calling 800-747-9354 or emailing clientservices@dbllawyers.com.


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Posted in: Employment Law

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