The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act became effective February 11, 2018. On March 9, 2018 the state issued a sick leave law guide to address changes to the bill.
New Sick Leave Law Guide
Much of the sick leave law remains the same. Maryland employers with 15 or more employees must provide paid sick leave. The law extends to full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Employers with fewer than 15 employees must also provide sick leave, however, in this case, it can be un-paid leave.
The guide details applicability and eligibility of the law, how to calculate the 15-employee threshold, sick leave accrual and tracking requirements, permissible uses of earned sick and safe leave, employer verification of sick and safe leave use, rehire requirements, and specific categories of employees.
New changes to the Act include provisions regarding collective bargaining agreements, Maryland*s prevailing wage rates, how safe and sick leave is accrued and paid and how it pertains to a Davis Bacon Project. Based on the information published by the State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, here is a summary of the new changes and revisions made to the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act:
What is the construction exemption and who is covered by it?
An employee is covered under the earned sick and safe leave law if they are covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement that was entered into on or after June 1, 2017, unless the collective bargaining agreement contains terms which clearly and expressly waive the requirements of the Maryland earned sick and safe leave law. Under the law the following types of employees are not considered construction industry employees: (1) janitors; (2) building cleaners; (3) building security officers; (4) concierges; (5) building door persons; (6) handypersons; and (7) building superintendents.
Applying law to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement entered into before 6-1-2017?
No. The earned safe and sick leave law will not apply to any bona fide collective bargaining agreement that was entered into before June 1, 2017, for the duration of the contract term excluding any extensions, options to extend or renewals of the term of the original agreement.
Can an employer designate different methods of accruing safe and sick leave for different types of e
Yes. An employer could provide in advance all sick and safe leave time for full time employees but provide that part-time employees must earn leave on an accrual basis. The Department recommends that such a policy be in writing and clearly communicated to all employees. Such a policy should be applied consistently as it pertains to each type of employee.
Do paid holidays count toward earned sick and safe leave? Can an employee accrue earned safe and sic
An employer cannot deduct holiday hours from an employee*s earned sick and safe leave if the employer*s business does not operate on those holidays and the employer provides paid time off for those holidays. However, if an employer*s business operates on holidays and employees work or are expected to work on holidays, the employer may deduct from the employees accrued sick and safe leave, if the employee chooses to take a leave day and not work on the holiday. The law does not require that an employee accrue sick and safe leave while using paid time off.
What happens in weeks where an employee works less than 12 hours?
An employee is NOT covered by the law if they customarily work less that 12 hours a week. However, if an employee customarily works 12 or more hours per week but on an isolated week the employee worked lass than 12 hours, those hours would still count toward the employee*s sick and safe leave.
Accrual of leave if the employer advances leave time at the beginning of the year?
If an employer advances sick and safe leave time on January 1st and an employee is hired on any other day of year after that, the employer must provide the accrual of earned sick and safe leave in the amount equal to or greater thank the leave provided for under the earned sick and safe leave law, until the beginning of the next benefit year.
Does earned sick and safe leave count toward fringe benefit amount?
Paid sick and safe leave may be credited toward the fringe benefit requirement on a Maryland Prevailing Wage project. The Commissioner suggests that an employer contact the U.S. Department of Labor for guidance on the Davis Bacon Act
What pay rate should an employee working on a Maryland Prevailing Wage project be compensated when u
The employee should be compensated at the standard rate of pay when choosing to use earned sick and safe leave.
Does an employee need to give prior notice to the employer, before using sick and safe leave?
If the need for sick leave is foreseeable, an employer may require its employees to provide up to seven days of notice before taking leave. If the need to use leave is not foreseeable the employee must provide notice as soon as possible. An employee may deny a request to use earned sick and safe leave if the employee failed to provide notice and the employee*s absence caused a disruption to the employer.
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