impactAlert: Paid Leave Law Now in Effect for Maryland Employers

Maryland’s recently enacted paid sick and safe leave law, known as the “Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (MHWFA),” is now in effect and enforceable as of February 11, 2018.

The Maryland General Assembly last week considered moving the enforcement date of the new law to July 1, 2018, but the legislature was unable to pass an amended bill to send to the governor.

The measure, in brief, requires businesses with at least 15 workers to provide five paid sick and safe leave days per year. An employee, under the law, 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.

For employers, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (MLLR) has issued a draft sample employee notice poster available on their website to post in your place of business at:

For a digest summary of the MHWFA, click here.

impactActions: Make sure your payroll systems are adjusted to track employee paid sick and safe leave accrual (which includes notifying employees of their paid leave hours balance each time they’re paid).

In addition, employers should review and, if necessary, adjust their attendance policies in regard to disciplinary action with unscheduled absences. If an employee, for example, complies with the notification procedures of using paid sick and/or safe leave, the employer can’t count this time off towards events that would cause an oral or written disciplinary action.

Under this new law, employers must notify employees of their rights under the law (including placing the draft paid-leave poster in an employee common space).

Special note for Montgomery County (MD) employers: Montgomery County’s own paid sick and safe leave law (enacted in 2016) remains in place, requiring employers to continue to follow the provisions of this law in lieu of the new state law.

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