Will your business be ready on February 11th to implement paid sick leave?
Is your handbook up to date?
Will you have the policies in place to avoid penalties and litigation for noncompliance?
It is in your business’s best interest to ensure compliance from the start. The attorneys at Gormley Jarashow Bowman can provide your business with the guidance it needs. At GJB, we have reviewed the new law in detail and are available to answer your questions or review your current policies and handbook for compliance. Feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or click the request a consultation button on the left. Keep reading below for more information on the new Maryland sick leave law.
The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (aka Mandatory Paid Sick Leave) is now the law of the state as the result of a veto override.
The law is set to take full effect on February 11, 2018. Enforcement may not begin until April, but your employees will likely be entitled to start accruing leave before then. Regardless, now is the time to ensure that your business is compliant with the new law.
Maryland employers with fifteen (15) or more employees must start providing paid sick leave to their employees. Even employers with less are affected by the law and must at least provide their employees with unpaid sick leave.
Employees’ use of leave has been expanded beyond the traditional sick day. Employees must be allowed to use their leave for illness and preventative care for themselves and their family members. Employees also must be allowed to use their leave for services related to helping with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking – including legal services.
Plus, Employers are required to inform their employees of their sick leave rights and maintain records of leave for at least three years. The costs of failing to comply can be high. Complaints by employees can lead to investigations by the state, civil fines, and potential lawsuits for more than three times (3x) what the employee was owed.
Governor Hogan has, by executive order, started the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance through the Maryland Department of Labor. Small businesses may be able to have their questions answered and potentially seek help in implementing the legal requirements of the law. More information on the OSBRA can be found at http://www.dllr.state.md.us/paidleave/.