Even though this law is now in effect, there are limited regulatory guidelines in place for businesses to follow in order to be in compliance. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation has posted some preliminary compliance guidance on their website for Maryland employers to follow, however final regulations are not expected until June.
RAM has been advising our members to begin complying with the paid sick leave law by tracking accrual for all current employees at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. It is also important to know that employers with fewer than 15 employees are still required to track their employees’ accrual of hours, however the leave provided may be unpaid.
Basic Summary of Paid Sick Leave Law:
• Employers with 15 or more employees are required to offer PAID sick leave. Employers with 14 or fewer employees must provide UNPAID leave.
• Law does not apply to employees who regularly work less than 12 hours a week. Law does not apply to employees under age 18 before the beginning of the year.
• Sick leave shall accrue at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. An employer is not required to allow an employee to earn more than 40 hours in a year, carry over more than 40 hours of unused leave into the next year, use more than 64 hours in a year, or accrue more than 64 hours at any time.
• Employees may be prohibited from using their earned leave during the first 106 days of employment.
• Tipped employees are to be paid the full applicable minimum wage for their leave time, not the tip wage of $3.63/hour.
• An employee may trade shifts or pick up shifts (provided the employee and employer agree) in lieu of using their earned leave time.
Last year, Governor Hogan vetoed the paid sick leave legislation passed by the General Assembly because he felt the law was poorly written, cumbersome and unfair to employees and the business community. The Governor then began pushing his own version of a paid sick leave bill that addressed many of these concerns. However, the General Assembly did not take any action on the Governor’s recommendations and instead overrode his veto on the original bill as their first order of business this year.
Since that time, RAM had supported efforts to delay the implementation of the paid sick leave law until July 1, 2018. The Senate agreed and passed a bill to delay the implementation. However, as of this writing, the House of Delegates refused to vote on this bill and therefore it went into effect on February 11, 2018.
Restaurant Association of Maryland Blog
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