On January 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto to pass the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (the “Act”), and in so doing, Maryland became the ninth state in the country to require paid sick and safe leave for qualifying employees.
Pursuant to the Act, any business in Maryland with 15 or more employees during the preceding year, including part-time, full-time, temporary, and seasonal workers, must provide their workforce with paid sick leave. Maryland employers with 14 or fewer employees are also required, at a minimum, to provide employees with unpaid sick and safe leave.
The Act currently is scheduled to take effect as of February 12, 2018. However, on January 23, 2018, as a result of concerns expressed by various lawmakers that employers would not have a sufficient amount of time to come into compliance with various provisions of the Act, Senator Thomas Middleton, the chief sponsor of the law, introduced a bill that would delay enforcing requirements of the law until mid-April. Senator Middleton stated that the delay in enforcement would give labor officials the requisite time to draw up necessary regulations and to spread the word to companies that are affected. He also emphasized that he wanted to “hold harmless” companies that are figuring out the details of how to set up their sick leave programs, and that “ninety days should give the administration enough time to get a guide together.”