New Maryland Sick and Safe Leave


When you feel sick at work but don’t want to go home because you have no sick leave.

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act now requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave for certain employees. Employers with 14 or less employees must provide unpaid sick and safe leave for certain employees. Up to this point, Maryland Employers have not been required to offer earned paid or unpaid sick leave. The governor actually vetoed this bill, but it was overridden and passed anyway. Employees can now earn sick and safe leave in Maryland.

Beginning February 11th, 2018 or whenever an employee starts a job after that date, an employee begins to collect sick and safe leave. At least one hour is earned for every 30 hours an employee works, but no more than 40 hours in a year, and no more than 64 hours at any time.

An employee can use sick and safe leave under these conditions:

1) To care/treat employee mental or physical illness/condition

2) To get preventative medical care for employee or employee family member                                 (spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling)

3) To care for family member with mental/physical illness/injury/condition

4) Maternity/paternity leave

5) Domestic violence/sexual assault/stalking committed against employee or                                   employee family member and:

a) employee needs to obtain medical/mental health attention.

b) employee needs to use services from a victim services organization

c) Legal services or proceedings, OR

d) Employee has temporarily relocated as result of these events.

An employee must give notice when possible of the need to use sick and safe leave and can use in increments decided with employer. Employers may deny leave in certain circumstances.

Employers must provide employees with written statement of available earned sick and safe leave. Employers cannot take adverse action against, make a complaint about, bring an action upon, or testify in an action in bad faith against an employee because they used this leave.

As an employer, either make sure your current policy already covers this, or adjust your employee handbook to account for the new sick and safe leave. Do you need us to make sure your current policy covers the new change? Or do you need help adding the change to your employee handbook? Give us a call at (410)528-7205 or email us at