The State of Maryland has adopted the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which requires employers to offer paid sick and safe leave (SSL) to eligible employees who are not already provided equivalent leave benefits under existing policies. The legislation became law on February 11, 2018. The law provides employees who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 12 hours per week with paid SSL accrued at a rate of one hour of SSL for every 30 hours worked.
What are acceptable uses for SSL?
- To care for or treat the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or condition;
- To obtain preventative care for the employee or the employee’s family member;
- To care for employee’s family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or condition;
- Maternity or paternity leave; or
- The absence from work is necessary due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against employee or employee’s family member when the leave is 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 employee has temporarily relocated as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
How does SSL affect University employees?
The following employment categories that have no equivalent paid leave benefits may be eligible for SSL based on eligibility criteria and hours worked:
- Hourly Staff
- Hourly Faculty
- Hourly Undergraduate and Graduate Student Employees
The following employment categories that already earn equivalent leave benefits may utilize SSL as part of, not in addition to, existing sick leave provided by the University:
- Regular Faculty
- Regular Staff
- Contractual Salaried Staff
- Post-Doctoral Scholars and Associates
- Other Salaried Faculty
Graduate Assistants do not earn paid leave benefits, but are eligible for “time away from duties” as outlined in the Graduate Catalog under Policies for Graduate Assistantships.
How will SSL be implemented at the University?
Beginning pay period 6 (September 2, 2018), eligible hourly employees will have SSL available to record on their electronic time records based on their accrued balance. The SSL balance will reflect earnings since February 11, 2018. SSL will accrue in each future pay period at a maximum rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked based on the employee’s total hourly FTE. Employees may view accrued SSL balances and previous pay period usage through their electronic time records. Time records utilizing SSL will continue to require bi-weekly supervisor approval.
The SSL law also includes the following guidelines:
- Employees may not earn more than 40 hours of SSL in a calendar year;
- Employees may not carry over more than 40 hours of accrued SSL into the subsequent calendar year;
- Employees will stop accruing biweekly SSL once their accrued SSL bank balance reaches 64 hours at any time during the calendar year;
- Employees may not use more than 64 hours of SSL in a calendar year;
- Employees may not use SSL for the first 106 calendar days of employment; and
- Employees are entitled to have any unused SSL reinstated if they are re-employed within 37 weeks of termination.
Where can I find more information?
SSL recording procedures, frequently asked questions and administrative guidance can be found at UHR.UMD.EDU.
Last updated: September 5, 2018