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Mandatory Sick Leave Trend Gains Steam as Maryland Joins the Fold

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.

Maryland’s New Sick and Safe Leave Law Scheduled to Take Effect in February

On January 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s May 25, 2017 veto of legislation requiring Maryland employers to provide sick and safe leave to their employees. By overriding the governor’s veto, the general assembly made Maryland the ninth state to adopt a mandatory sick leave statute. Maryland’s legislation, known as the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, provides employees with up to 40 hours of sick and safe leave annually. Unless the general assembly delays the Act’s effective date, employers will need to conform their leave policies on or before February 11, 2018.

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Effective February 12

Certain Maryland employers must begin offering paid sick and safe leave to their employees under the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act beginning February 12, 2018.

Maryland Becomes the Latest State to Require Paid Sick and Safe Leave

On January 12, 2018, the Maryland legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) 2017 veto of the Healthy Working Families Act, Maryland HB 1 (“the Act”), enacting legislation that requires Maryland businesses to provide covered employees with sick and safe leave. The Act says it preempts local sick and safe leave laws that were enacted on or after January 1, 2017, which may include the Prince George’s County law.1 However, Montgomery County’s law will remain in effect.2 The Act is scheduled to become effective on February 11, 2018.

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Law Passed Over Governor's Veto

The Maryland General Assembly has voted to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a 2017 bill to enact the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HWFA). The governor had vetoed the bill at the end of the 2017 legislative session, stating that its one-size-fits-all approach would harm small businesses.

The Layers of the Paid Sick Leave Law in Montgomery County, Maryland

On October 1, 2016, Montgomery County’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave law became effective. This law allows all employees, with few exceptions, that work in Montgomery County, Maryland, to accrue paid and/or unpaid sick and safe leave, depending on the size of their employer, to use for their own illness, an illness of a family member and (originally) five other specific reasons. Since its passage the Montgomery County Council has amended the law once and is considering a further amendment.

Montgomery County Sick and Safe Leave Law Amended to Permit Use for Birth, Adoption, Foster Care, and Bonding

Effective immediately, employers in Montgomery County, Maryland must allow eligible employees in the County to use up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave provided under Montgomery County’s sick and safe leave law for birth, adoption, foster care, or bonding with the employee’s child. The County Council adopted this measure to bridge gaps in employees’ ability to use paid leave for various combinations of parental leave under federal and state laws.

Maryland Passes New Pay Equity Law

Maryland recently passed into law sweeping revisions to its existing equal pay law. The new law, signed by Governor Hogan on May 19, 2016, will take effect on October 1, 2016. With the passage of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, Maryland joins California and New York in expanding pay equity protections. The act significantly amend the current statute, Md. Code, Labor and Employment, §3-301, et seq. and expands both the scope of the law and its remedies.

Maryland Expands Equal Pay Law to Prohibit Gender Identity Discrimination, Require Pay Transparency

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed into law a significant expansion of the Maryland Equal Pay Law, including new provisions to prohibit pay discrimination on the basis of gender identity and to make it easier for employees to discover and discuss disparities in pay.

Maryland’s Montgomery County Enacts First Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law in State

Montgomery County is the first county in Maryland to enact a paid sick and safe leave law. The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (“the Law”) requires employers operating and doing business in Montgomery County, that employ one or more employees, to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees who perform work in the County. It becomes effective on October 1, 2016, or, for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) in effect, on October 1, 2016, after the expiration of the CBA. The Maryland General Assembly had considered a similar bill during the 2015 legislative session, but the bill failed in session.

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