HR Alert

Maryland Passes Sick and Safe Leave Law

Law Addresses Accrual, Use, and More

Maryland has passed a sick and safe leave law. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Coverage

An employer with 15 or more employees generally must provide an employee with paid earned sick and safe leave at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns.

An employer with 14 or fewer employees must (at least) provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave.

The law does not apply to an employee who (among other things) regularly works less than 12 hours a week for an employer. Click here for more details on coverage and exceptions.

Accrual and Use

Earned sick and safe leave accrues at a rate of (at least) one hour for every 30 hours worked. Click here for more details on accrual.

An employer must allow an employee to use earned sick and safe leave:

  • To care for or treat the employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or condition;
  • To obtain preventive medical care for the employee or employee's family member;
  • To care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or condition;
  • For maternity or paternity leave; or
  • For certain uses (Sect. 5) related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or the employee's family member.

Limits on Accrual and Use

An employer may not be required to allow an employee to:

  • Earn more than 40 hours of earned sick and safe leave in a year;
  • Use more than 64 hours of earned sick and safe leave in a year;
  • Accrue a total of more than 64 hours at any time;
  • Use earned sick and safe leave during the first 106 calendar days the employee works for the employer; or
  • Accrue earned sick and safe leave during certain periods.

Additional details, including (among other things) information on carryover, notice, and recordkeeping, are available in the text of the law. The law is generally effective February 11, 2018. Employers with questions as to the law's impact on workplace policies and practices are advised to contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney.


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