Maryland Enacts Paid Leave Law, Overrides Governor’s Veto

By Kelsey Basten

Published on January 30, 2018

The Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act Jan. 15, 2018, overriding Governor Larry Hogan’s veto.

The new law, effective Feb. 12, 2018, requires employers with 15 or more full-time employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave annually. The time is to be earned at the rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.

Employees will be allowed to carryover a maximum of 40 hours of unused leave each year. However, they can’t use more than 64 hours in a single year.

Employers with less than 15 full-time employees are required to provide employees with up to 40 hours of accrued leave, but the leave does not have to be paid.

Employees may use paid leave time for:

  • Their own medical conditions
  • Caring for an ill family member
  • Preventative medical care
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Absence due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking against themselves or a family member

The act also states employers must provide written notice of the paid sick and safe leave rights to employees. To satisfy this requirement, the Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry will provide model notices for employers.

The bill preempts the authority of a local jurisdiction to enact a law on or after Jan. 1, 2017 that regulates sick and safe leave provided by an employer. Prince George’s County ordinance was enacted Dec. 12, 2017. The Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law was enacted in 2016.

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