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Home $ Employment Law $ Employee rights to sick and safe time off in Maryland, part 1

On Feb. 11, 2018, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act took effect after the General Assembly had voted to override the governor’s veto of the bill. This state law requires private, nonprofit, and state or local government employers in Maryland to provide “earned sick and safe leave” to eligible employees to take sick time off as well as time away to handle issues related to abuse of self or a family member.

Accrued leave

The law’s benefits apply to eligible employees who work at least 12 hours per week for an employer. The employee accrues at least one hour of sick and safe leave for every 30 hours of work. This time may be granted in a lump sum at the beginning of the year or as accrued over time.

The employer is not required to (but may) credit more than 40 earned hours of leave in one year or allow accrual of more than 64 hours. The employer may cap use of accrued time off at 64 hours per year (but may allow more). The employer may restrict the use of sick and safe time during the first 106 days of employment.

Whether leave is paid depends on employer size

If the employer has at least 15 employees, that time off is paid. If there are 14 or fewer employees, the accrued time off must not be paid, but the person must be allowed to take the time away without fear of negative ramifications.

In part 2 of this post, we will explain what sick and safe time is, talk about types of employees not eligible for leave and detail legal remedies for violations.