Most Maryland Employers are Now Required to Provide PAID Leave

By Scott A. Mirsky

As of earlier this year, all Maryland employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees.  In a nutshell, under the recently enacted Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (“Act”) employers must provide one hour of sick and safe leave for every thirty hours that an employee works.[1]  Under the new Act, earned sick and safe leave may be used for the following:

  • To care for or treat the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or condition;
  • To obtain preventative medical care for the employee or the employee’s family member;
  • To care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or condition;
  • For maternity or paternity leave; or
  • The absence from work is necessary due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking committed against the employee or the employee’s family member and the leave is being used:

(1)       to obtain medical or mental health attention;

(2)       to obtain services from a victim services organization;

(3)       for legal services or proceedings; or

(4)       because the employee has temporarily relocated as a result of the domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

All employers in Maryland should review their leave policies to ensure that their businesses are in compliance with the new Act.

______________

[1] The new Act is similar to the Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (which still must be complied with by employers in Montgomery County). However, the Montgomery County law requires employers with less than 15 employee to provide paid sick and safe leave.

© Scott A. Mirsky

For more information on employment policies, please contact Scott A. Mirsky at (301) 664-7710 or samirsky@mirskylawgroup.com.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

 

Are you Prepared for the Minimum Wage Increase in Montgomery County?

By Scott A. Mirsky

The road to a $15/per hour minimum wage in Montgomery County starts on July 1, 2018.   While employers have several more years before they must pay employees $15/per hour as I wrote in a recent blog post, Minimum Wage Increases are Coming to Montgomery County, the gradual journey towards $15/per hour begins soon. On July 1st of this year, minimum wage in Montgomery County will rise to:

  • $12.25, for employers with 51 or more employees
  • $12.00, for employers with 50 or fewer employees

For those employer who are looking ahead, this rate will increase each July 1st on its way to $15/per hour.  For July 1, 2019, minimum wages in Montgomery County will increase to:

  • $13.00, for employers with 51 or more employees
  • $12.50, for employers with 50 or fewer employees

Now is the time for business to prepare for these increases.

For more information on wage and hour issues, please contact Scott A. Mirsky at (301) 664-7710 or samirsky@mirskylawgroup.com.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

Minimum Wage Increases are Coming to Montgomery County

By Scott A. Mirsky

Montgomery County businesses need to start preparing for the gradual increase of the minimum wage as it heads towards $15 per hour. After some compromising between lawmakers and the County Executive, the deadline for businesses to comply with the $15 per hour requirement will vary depending upon the number of employees who are employed by the business, as follows:

  • July 1, 2021, for employers with 51 or more employees
  • July 1, 2023, for employers with 11-50 employees
  • July 1, 2024, for employers with fewer than 11 employee

In addition, businesses will have to comply with gradual increases to the minimum wages as it approaches $15 per hour. The new law specifically excludes (1) employees who are exempt under State or Federal law; (2) employees who are subject to an opportunity wage under State of Federal law; (3) employees who are 18 years old or younger if they work no more than 20 hours per week.  In addition, if the employee is 19 years old or younger, the new law permits an employer to pay that employee 85% of the County minimum wage for the first six months of employment.

For more information on wage and hour issues, please contact Scott A. Mirsky at (301) 664-7710 or samirsky@mirskylawgroup.com.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

Sexual Harassment Claims: Beyond the Rich and Famous

In the last few months, allegations of sexual harassment against famous entertainers and high-profile politicians have flooded the news headlines.   However, sexual harassment in the workplace is not limited to Hollywood and “inside the beltway” politicians.  In the wake of these recent claims of sexual harassment, now is an appropriate time for all employers (big and small) to reflect on their own workplace culture and policies to make sure that the work environment is free from sexual harassment.   Here are three tips for employers to prevent sexual harassment at work.

  1. Implement a Zero Tolerance Sexual Harassment Policy: Employee handbooks should contain a strong anti-harassment policy. This policy should define what is considered sexual harassment, state that the employer will not tolerate sexual harassment, and explain the steps that an employee should follow if he/she believes that they are the victim of (or observe) sexual harassment.
  2. Training: At a minimum, all managers should routinely receive sexual harassment training. In addition, if an employer is concerned that sexual harassment may be occurring in the workplace, then all employees should receive sensitivity training to educate employees about sexual harassment.
  3. Prompt Investigation: In the event that an employee complains about sexual harassment, the employer should immediately investigate and make sure that the complaining party is not retaliated against for making a good faith claim of sexual harassment. In many situations, it is necessary to separate the complaining employee from the alleged harasser until the investigation is complete.  However, the complaining party should not be transferred or forced to do extra work, as this may be viewed as retaliation.  At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate punishment should be implemented if sexual harassment has occurred.

For more information on sexual harassment policies and investigations, please contact Scott A. Mirsky at (301) 664-7710 or samirsky@mirskylawgroup.com.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

Revisited a Year Later: The Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law Turns One

A year ago, Montgomery County became one of the first counties in the nation to require that employers provide employees with paid sick leave. In general, under the Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law employees must be allowed to earn a minimum of 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave each year.  If the employer has few than five employees, then the employee must be allowed to earn at least 32 hours of paid leave and 24 hours of unpaid leave each year.  While most employers comply with these requirements (and many even provide more than 56 hours of paid sick leave on an annual basis), compliance with some of the detailed requirements are more problematic.  For example, an employer in Montgomery County must:

  • Allow its employees to carry over 56 hours of leave to the next calendar year, unless an employer gives its employees their full leave entitlement at the beginning of each calendar year.
  • Allow its employees to accrue paid sick leave from the first day of employment.
  • However, an employer can restrict the employee from using paid sick and safe leave during the first 90 days of employment.
  • Provide its employees with a written statement (or an online portal) which shows the employee how many hours of paid time off they have available to use.
  • Notify their employees that they are entitled to sick and safe leave.  The notice must comport with certain requirements or include the model notice prepared by Montgomery County.
  • Keep records concerning employees accrual or use of earned sick leave for at least three years.

All employers who have employees located in Montgomery County should review their leave polices to ensure compliance with the Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law.

For more information on employment policies, please contact Scott A. Mirsky at (301) 664-7710 or samirsky@mirskylawgroup.com.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.