Maryland Enacts Paid Sick Leave Mandate After Veto Override

January 19, 2018

After the state legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s (R-MD) veto, effective February 11, 2018, Maryland will become the ninth state to require employers to provide paid sick leave.  The new law will require employers with 15 or more employees to provide employees that work at least 12 hours per week with one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours an employee works, capped at five days per year.  Employees can carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave a year, but employers can cap the use of paid leave to 64 hours per year.  The primary problem with the law for multi-state employers is not the mandated amount of leave but the differences with other state laws regarding accrual, carryover, eligibility, and payout provisions that make it virtually impossible to provide a uniform set of paid leave benefits.  Notably, the new law allows an employer and employee to agree that the employee will work additional hours or trade shifts with another employee rather than use paid leave.  However, these policies must be strictly voluntary, and an employee cannot be forced to offer or accept a shift trade or work additional hours.