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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:


Warning: Recent Court Decisions Invalidate Standard Non-Compete Language in Maryland

Would your Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements Hold Up?

Recent court decisions have eviscerated some non-compete and non-solicitation provisions that Maryland employers have used for years.  Generally speaking, non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions will be upheld if they are “narrowly tailored to protect a legitimate business interest” – but not if they are found to be “overly broad.”  Recently, our courts have held that the following language is generally overly broad and, therefore, unenforceable: Continue reading Warning: Recent Court Decisions Invalidate Standard Non-Compete Language in Maryland