The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners amended County Code (Chapter 27) to allow the County to establish and regulate sick and safe leave benefits for employees performing work within the geographic boundaries of Montgomery County, Maryland.
Beginning October 1, 2016, the new Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave takes effect. Under the law, employees who work nine hours or more each week are eligible to accrue paid time off in order to provide care for themselves or for family members in cases of illness, preventative medical care, or in response to sexual violence or stalking.
When an employee uses accrued earned sick and safe leave, the employer must pay the same rate and with the same benefits as the employee normally earns.
Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Time Accrual, Usage, and Caps
Large Businesses. Businesses with more than 5 employees must provide each employee with one hour of paid time for every 30 hours of work performed within the county. Each employee can accrue up to 56 hours per year and can use up to 80 hours of earned sick and safe leave.
Small Businesses. Businesses with fewer than 5 employees must provide each employee with both paid and unpaid sick and safe leave for work performed in the County at a rate of one hour of paid time for every 30 hours of work performed within the county. Each employee can accrue up to 32 hours of paid leave and 24 hours of unpaid leave in a calendar year. Employees in small businesses can use up to 80 hours of earned sick and safe leave in any one calendar year.
Annual Carry-Over Cap. For both large and small businesses, employees are allowed to carry over no more than 56 hours per calendar year.
To use earned sick and safe leave, an employee must request the leave “as soon as practicable” and alert the employer for the anticipated duration of the leave.
Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Time Notice and Posting Requirements
Under the new law, employers with workers in Montgomery County must notify those covered employees that they are entitled to earned sick and safe leave. The notice must inform the worker:
- How earned sick and safe leave is accrued
- Permitted uses of earned sick and safe leave
- Right to file complaints for violations or retaliation by employers
Prior to the October 1, 2016 effective date, the County, in cooperation with the enforcement agency, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR), will release a notice in English and Spanish. The new notice would cover the notice requirements, and employers can:
- Display the notice or another notice containing the same information in conspicuous and accessible area at each work location in the county
- Include the notice or another notice in an employee handbook
- Provide the notice to each employee at the time employment commences
Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Time Recordkeeping Requirements
An employer must keep records for at least 3 years, including amount of earned sick and safe leave accrued and used by each employee.
Montgomery County Municipalities Covered by the New Earned Sick and Safe Time Law
The following cities are all or in part found within the geographic boundaries of Montgomery County:
- Chevy Chase
- Chevy Chase View
- Chevy Chase Village
- Garrett Park
- Glen Echo
- Rockville (county seat)
- Takoma Park
- Washington Grove