Raising the Bottom Line

What Maryland Businesses Need to Know About Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Posted by Leonard Rus on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ 01:52 PM

paid sick leave in Maryland.jpg

A new law, dubbed “mandatory paid sick leave,” will have a substantial impact on many Maryland businesses, starting now.

Despite a last minute attempt by the Maryland Senate to delay the roll out of the new mandatory paid sick leave law until July, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act took effect yesterday, February 11, 2018.

The core provision of the Act that’s causing Maryland employers to scramble revolves around sick leave. Under the new law, which was hotly debated in the state legislature, some Maryland businesses must provide paid sick leave for employees.

What’s required by the new law?

Whether you are required to offer paid sick leave depends on the number of employees you employ.

Maryland mandatory paid sick leave

Under the new law, employees can earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees can earn a maximum of 40 hours (five work days) of sick leave each year.

Sick leave mandated by the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act can be used for an employee’s own illness, to get medical care for a family member, to care for a sick family member and for maternity/paternity leave.

What to do now

If your business hasn’t already taken steps to comply, act now.

Every business owner should review his or her sick leave policy immediately. Once your sick leave policy is updated to reflect the new law’s requirements, distribute it to employees.

Recordkeeping methods need attention as well. Payroll systems, for example, need to account for the accrual and use of sick leave.

Consequences for failure to comply

There are stiff penalties for business owners who fail to comply with Maryland’s new sick leave law. Monetary fines and possible lawsuits filed by employees are a threat to businesses that don’t have compliant sick leave policies in place.

Additional resources for employers

According to Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, state officials say they “will work closely with employers and employees to make sure both parties understand the requirements and limitations of the law and resolve any issues as informally as possible.”

Employers can email questions to small.business@maryland.gov.

The state is developing sample policies and a detailed Q&A document. These resources will be posted on the DLLR website when they are available.

The Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation’s sample employee notice poster offers an easy-to-understand explanation of the new law and how it works.

You can read the full Maryland Healthy Working Families Act here.

Need help?

If you need help determining how your business is affected and the steps to comply, contact us here or call 800.899.4623.

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