impactAlert: Maryland General Assembly Enacts Paid Leave Measure into Law

The Maryland General Assembly last Friday completed its override of the governor’s earlier veto, enacting into law the “Maryland Healthy Working Families Act,” a measure that requires businesses with at least 15 workers to provide five paid sick and safe leave days per year.

The new law is set to take effect on February 11, 2018.

Under the measure, an employee earns at least one hour of paid sick and safe leave for every 30 hours an employee works.

In addition, employers with 14 or fewer employees must have a corresponding policy that provides an employee with at least 40 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave.

The measure covers all Maryland employees with several exceptions. For instance, it does not apply to the following: employees who regularly work less than 12 hours a week; independent contractors; associate real estate brokers and real estate salespersons; individuals younger than age 18; workers in the agricultural sector; construction workers covered in a collective bargaining agreement if terms relating to the waiver of paid leave are included in the agreement; employees who work on an as-needed basis in a health or human services industry; or specified employees of a temporary services or employment agency.

Employees eligible under the new law are entitled to use earned sick and safe leave to:

  • Care for or treat the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or condition
  • Obtain preventive medical care for the employee or employee’s family member
  • Care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or condition for maternity or paternity leave
  • Absences due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking committed against the employee or the employee’s family member
  • Obtain services from a victim services organization
  • Obtain legal services

Maryland joins eight other states — Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Arizona, Washington and Rhode Island — plus smaller jurisdictions that include the District of Columbia and Montgomery County (MD) that have enacted paid sick leave laws.

If you have questions or need guidance in adjusting your policies to comply with this new law, please contact an impactHR team member via email at or phone 443-741-3900.