Maryland Labor Department Issues Three Model Leave Policies

The department's three model earned sick and safe leave policies cover employers awarding earned leave at the beginning of the year, employers allowing leave to accrue throughout the year, and a policy for tipped employees in the restaurant industry.

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation issued three model earned sick and safe leave policies on March 9, as well as a revised model employee poster and updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) based on stakeholders' feedback. Posted on the paid leave website, the documents will help employers in the state comply with the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act and help workers understand their rights under that law.

The revised FAQs are the result of almost 2,000 emails sent to the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance. Section 3-1306 of the act requires the commissioner of Labor and Industry to develop a model sick and safe leave policy that an employer may use in a handbook or other written guidance to employees concerning benefits or leave provided by the employer. The department's three model policies cover:

  • employers awarding earned leave at the beginning of the year
  • employers allowing leave to accrue throughout the year
  • a policy for tipped employees in the restaurant industry

"In issuing these documents, the department has fulfilled its statutory obligations under the Healthy Working Families Act. However, we will continue to provide technical assistance to employers and employees – including revising policies based on stakeholder feedback – until every employer has their question addressed," said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "We are committed to working with our job creators, workers, and stakeholders through an open, transparent process to make this transition period as smooth as possible."

Before the new law took effect Feb. 11, the department provided initial guidance to alleviate any immediate employer or workers concerns. "The department continues to address the immediate needs of small businesses and is seeing an increasing number of questions coming from employees," Schulz said. "Today's new and revised documents represent the latest resource we have to help employers through the transition."

The agency reported that it sent the new documents to more than 200,000 stakeholders -- parties who provided contact information to the Committee on Paid Leave in 2017, subscribers to DLLR's mailing lists, contacts who have directly contacted the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance, local chambers of commerce and business organizations, and members of the General Assembly. The documents are also available on the DLLR website.

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