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Mandatory Sick Leave Trend Gains Steam as Maryland Joins the Fold


Mandatory Sick Leave Trend Gains Steam as Maryland Joins the Fold

February 9, 2018

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act — which establishes mandatory sick leave in Maryland — takes effect on February 11, 2018. Although the act had been vetoed by Governor Hogan in 2017, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates successfully voted to override the veto earlier this year.

February 11 will bring major changes for many businesses with Maryland employees. Except in the cases of very small employers (14 or fewer), this sick leave must be paid. Noteworthy provisions and implications of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act include:

  • Eligible employees must accrue 1 hour of sick and safe leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours leave per year, OR be given 40 hours of sick and safe leave up-front at the beginning of the year;
  • While a new eligible employee must begin accruing (or be given up front) sick and safe leave on his or her first day of work, an employer may require that an employee work at least 106 days before being able to use the accrued leave; and
  • Employers are not required to pay the employee out for unused sick and safe leave when the employment relationship ends.

All Maryland employers are well advised to consider the new law and their existing policies and procedures to ensure they are in compliance.

The act makes Maryland the ninth state to require employers to provide employees with sick leave. As the trend toward making sick leave mandatory continues, a prudent approach for employers everywhere is to review their existing policies and consult with counsel regarding sick leave laws in place or the implications of legislative changes that may be on the horizon.

For more information on how this may impact your business, contact: