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Maryland’s Impending Sick and Safe Leave Law: Don’t Wait to Review your Policies

Currently working its way through the Maryland General Assembly is an emergency bill that is aimed at delaying the implementation of the new sick and safe leave law (the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act) until July 1, 2018. On Friday the bill passed through a Senate committee, but now it must still go before the full Senate, then to the House of Delegates, and finally, to the Governor’s desk. The current implementation date is February 11, 2018.

It is our position that employers need to prepare as if the sick and safe leave law will go into effect on February 11. Though the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation has been charged with developing guidance documents, including a model policy, it is unlikely that these documents will be finalized prior to February 11. Employers need to review their leave policies now to see what steps need to be taken in order to come into compliance with this new law.

Council Baradel’s Employment Law attorneys, Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown, are available to review your current leave policies for compliance and address any questions you may have regarding this new law.

Ms. Shapiro and Mr. Brown will also be presenting to the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce and answering questions on the MHWFA on February 14, 2018. For more information on the presentation and attendance, click here.

Understanding the New Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

Maryland has passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (“MHWF”) – which has been commonly referred to as “the sick leave bill.”

With very few exceptions, Maryland employers are required to provide employees with sick and safe leave, and with notice regarding that leave, and to keep certain records tracking that leave.  Depending on an employer’s size, leave is either paid or unpaid.  Broadly speaking, certain employees may use the leave to care for themselves or certain family members who are sick, who are seeking preventative medical care, or who have suffered from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Some businesses will find that parts of their existing leave policies and systems are already compliant with the MHWF; however, most will need to tweak their policies, procedures and notices to encompass all of the requirements of the new law.

The MHWF tasks Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation with creating form policies and notices; however, that work is not yet done.

Please let us know if you’d like to discuss your leave policies, notices and record-keeping to see whether they are compliant with the new law and, if not, what changes would make them compliant.

Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown to Host Wage & Hour Happy Hour on September 14th

Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown will be hosting a “Wage & Hour Happy Hour” to discuss top tips for businesses to avoid employment-related lawsuits. The complimentary seminar will be held at the William Paca Gardens on September 14th from 5-7pm and will feature beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres. To register for the seminar, click here.

Maryland Sick Leave Legislation – Votes Verse Veto on Maryland Employers’ Sick Leave Obligations

When you’re sick, trying to weigh the pros and cons of whether to go to work is something business owners and employees know all too well.  While burying yourself in a pile of blankets on your couch while watching the Price is Right, and reminding Drew Carry that he will never be Bob Barker, may sound like a great way to kick a cold, many business owners and employees simply can’t afford to take the time off.  To address this issue, at least on behalf of employees, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation that would require employers to provide paid or unpaid sick leave to their employees.  However, much like Drew Carry on the Price is Right, the legislation may be dead on arrival as Governor Larry Hogan has already indicated he would use his veto power.  Despite the Governor’s veto, there is a strong possibility his veto will be overridden given the votes that passed the legislation through both chambers of the General Assembly.  As such business owners should know what’s potentially coming. Continue reading Maryland Sick Leave Legislation – Votes Verse Veto on Maryland Employers’ Sick Leave Obligations

New Overtime Salary Rule Blocked by Federal Court Injunction

On November 22, 2016, a Federal Judge for the Eastern District of Texas entered a nationwide preliminary injunction that stops the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Final Rule from going into effect December 1st, 2016.[1]  The Final Rule was announced back in May of this year and had been intended to drastically increase the salary requirement for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from the overtime requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  While still only a preliminary injunction, meaning that the case isn’t over yet, this is a massive blow to the Department of Labor.  More details on how this surprising turn of events came about, and what it means for Maryland businesses will follow in a later post.

[1]  Opinion found here: http://www.theemployerhandbook.com/files/2016/11/Nevada-v.-USDOL.pdf?utm_content=buffer824fc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.