Business and Industry | Government | Legislative & Regulatory

As delay stalls, Feb. 11 implementation of paid sick leave law looms. Here’s what you should know.

Attention, Maryland business owners: You’d better be prepared to comply with the state’s new paid sick leave law by next week.

A bill in the state's General Assembly that would delay the implementation of the law by six months appears to be going nowhere. Despite last week's approval from the Senate Finance Committee, the full Senate has delayed taking a vote on extending the implementation date twice in the past two days.

With paid sick leave scheduled to take effect on Feb. 11, that leaves precious little time for an extension to clear both the House and Senate.

"At this point, even if the Senate does eventually pass the bill, it is unlikely the House would have enough time to hold a hearing and have its own vote," Baltimore Business Journal reporter Holden Wilen writes. "Additionally, House Democrats have expressed hesitation about delaying the paid sick leave law because they are concerned Republicans will try to further amend the law."

The paid sick leave law, known as the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, requires businesses with 15 or more employees to provide up to five days of paid sick leave. Businesses with fewer than 15 employees must offer five unpaid sick days to workers.

The law passed the General Assembly last year, but Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed it, claiming it would harm businesses and cost the state thousands of jobs. The General Assembly overrode Hogan's veto during the first week of its 2018 session.

For Maryland businesses, the short version of this story is this: Come Sunday, you'll be required to provide sick leave to your employees.

So ... where do you start? Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has some ideas. The DLLR has published some extensive guidance on enforcement and implementation of the new law. Here's everything you'll need to know come Feb. 11.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce also has published some extensive guidance that breaks down everything employers need to know about the new law, including the following:

  • The purpose of paid sick leave
  • Which employers are covered
  • Which employees are covered
  • Which family members are covered
  • Issues related to accrual and carryover of leave
  • Borrowing and termination issues
  • Notice and use of leave
  • Verification
  • Employers' notice and record keeping requirements
  • Prohibited actions and enforcement
  • An employer's existing policy
  • County laws

Read the Chamber's guidance in its entirety.


Bill Sheridan