February 7, 2019

By Susan Richards Salen October 612016 Montgomery County, Maryland has enacted an Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law ("Law") effective October 1, 2016. Most employers in the County will have to provide most of their employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave. The leave is accrued at the rate of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked capped at not more than 56 hours of leave a year. Small employers (defined as employers with less than 5 employees) have to provide only 32 hours of paid leave and 24 hours of unpaid leave.

Employees may use this accrued sick and safe leave for their own illness, to care for a sick family member, for their own and their family member's medical appointments. The leave may also be used by an employee seeking services (medical or legal) related to the employee's suffering from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Employers must provide notice to its employees of this law. In addition, employers must keep three years of records reflecting employee leave accrual and use.

Most employers in the area offer either Sick Leave or Paid Time-Off that will meet the leave accrual requirements. However, existing employer sick leave policies will not generally meet the requirements of the new Law. For example, many policies do not permit employees to accrue leave prior to being employed for a 90-day period. The Law requires that employees accrue sick and safe leave upon commencement of employment. Employers should review their sick-leave policies and revise as necessary to meet the law's requirements.

Attached is Montgomery County's Fact Sheet, which you should provide to your employees as soon as possible. Posters may be obtained from complianceposter.com.

For more information on the Law and assistance in compliance, please do not hesitate to contact Susan Richards Salen or Maureen Carr.

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