A new law provides paid sick leave to all employees working in Montgomery County.
The Montgomery County, Maryland Council has enacted an Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law that takes effect October 1, 2016. This law will allow employees to take paid time off to care for themselves or covered individuals.
Who Are Covered Individuals?
Covered individuals are defined as:
- a biological, adopted, foster, or stepchild of the employee;
- a child that the employee has legal or physical custody or guardianship of;
- a child that the employee is the primary caregiver to;
- a biological, adoptive, foster, or stepparent of the employee or the employee’s spouse;
- the legal guardian of the employee;
- an individual who served as the primary caregiver of the employee when the employee was a minor;
- the spouse of the employee;
- a grandparent of the employee;
- the spouse of a grandparent of the employee;
- a grandchild of the employee;
- a biological, adopted, or foster sibling of the employee; or
- the spouse of a biological, adopted, or foster sibling of the employee.
Accrual Rates Depend on the Number of Employees
Employees will accrue sick and safe leave time at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year. Those with fewer than five employees are required to provide up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave and 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave per year.
How to Communicate the Notice to your Employees
The Office of Human Rights will publish a model notice for employers to use and provide to their employees. According to GovDocs Compliance Research Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq., the notice requirement can be met by one of three ways:
- Display the model notice or another notice containing the same information in a conspicuous and accessible area at each of the employer’s work locations in the County;
- Include the notice in an employee handbook or other written guidance distributed to all employees;
- Distribute the notice to each employee when hired.
Earned Sick and Safe Leave Bill Posting Requirements
The notice is required to be provided to all employees in some form, but because the notice is not required to be posted, the posting is not considered mandatory. GovDocs will continue to monitor for the release of the model notice.