Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Proposed Bill Would Require Maryland Employers To Provide Mandatory Sick Leave

Current Maryland State Law does not require that employer provide paid or unpaid leave.  Bills introduced in the Senate (SB698) and the House (HB735) would require employers to provide paid sick leave. An employee would earn at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours an employee works up to 7 days of sick leave per year.  The laws would allow employees to care for themselves and most dependents.  The Maryland Chamber of Commerce opposes the legislation; while workers' rights groups support it.  The Fiscal Note provides a good summary of the proposed law.

Of course, some employees (who work for employers with 50 or more employees) are guaranteed at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave for some illnesses under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act.  Also, the Maryland Flexible Leave Act states that if an employer (with more than 15 employees)  already offers paid  leave, it must allow an employee to use it to care for a sick family member.  Other laws may require an employer to allow an employee to use leave as an accommodation for a disability.   The reality is, however, that most low wage and part-time employees get no sick leave.        

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