Montgomery County, MD Paid Sick and Safe Leave – Effective October 1, 2016

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Montgomery County, MD’s new “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law,” which goes into effect October 1, 2016, requires employers to provide paid sick and safe leave to most employees who perform work in Montgomery County.  (The law includes exceptions for employees who work eight or fewer hours per week and those who “do not maintain a regular work schedule” with the employer.)

Employees are entitled to earn one hour of “Sick and Safe Leave” for every 30 hours worked in the county, up to 56 hours of leave per year. Employers with fewer than five employees are only required to pay for the first 32 hours of earned leave, and the remaining 24 hours may be unpaid. Employers with five or more employees must pay for all earned leave.

Employees may elect to use Sick and Safe Leave:

To care for the employee’s own or a family member’s mental or physical condition, illness or injury;

  1. To obtain preventive care for the employee or a family member;
  2. For various public health emergencies outlined in the law; and
  3. For reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or a family member of the employee.

Employers may not ask employees to provide documentation of the need for leave unless the employee has used more than three consecutive days of leave.

Employers are required to provide specific notice to employees regarding their legal entitlement to Sick and Safe Leave, and to provide individualized notices to employees each pay period regarding the amount of Sick and Safe Leave available.

Finally, employers are required to maintain records regarding each employee’s accrual and use of Sick and Safe Leave for three years.

Before October 1, employers with employees working in Montgomery County must put in place procedures to comply with this new county law.

Please contact Doug Desmarais at ddesmarais@smithdowney.com or Kerstin Miller at kmiller@smithdowney.com if we can be of any assistance with your paid sick leave compliance.