Maryland Sick Leave LawThe Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave (ESS) law will go into effect on February 11, 2018 unless the General Assembly acts to delay its implementation. Here are the basic details:

    • Employers with 15 or more employees in Maryland must provide up to five (5) days of paid sick leave per year.
    • Employers with 14 or fewer employees must grant employees unpaid sick leave.
    • The act does not apply to employees who regularly work less than 12 hours per week.
    • Employees may use leave for illness or for other reasons such as caring for a family member, maternity or paternity leave, or to obtain services in connection with an incident of domestic violence or stalking.

    Sick Leave Accrual:

    • Employees accrue sick and safe leave at a rate of at least 1 hour for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours of leave per year.
    • Employees may carry over sick leave from year to year, although employers may cap the carry over amount to 64 hours.
    • Employers must also provide, in writing, a statement regarding the amount of earned sick and safe leave that is available to the employee (e.g., on a paystub or online system through which the employee may see the balance of their earned sick and safe leave).
    • Employees are not compensated for unused sick and safe leave upon termination of employment.

    The following employees are not covered by the bill:

    • Employees who regularly work less than 12 hours per week
    • Employees who are employed in the construction industry
    • Employees who are covered by a collective-bargaining agreement that expressly waives the requirements of the law
    • Certain “as-needed” employees in health or human services industry.

    Employers may use their existing vacation or PTO policies as long as the minimum accrual and carry over provisions of the Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave law are met. 


    Should you have any questions, please reach out to your FosterThomas benefits account manager or customer service representative.

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