gavel and books

Consistent with the recent trend we’ve observed of providing employees with paid leave to care for themselves or family members, two more states have leave laws on the verge of enactment. The bills, which await their respective Governor’s signature, demonstrate how different states pursue this path with varying types of mandatory paid leave programs. The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, (House Bill 1) would require employers to provide earned sick and safe leave to eligible employees. Indiana’s Act Concerning Labor and Safety (Senate Act 253) will kick off a study to determine whether the state should offer voluntary paid family and medical leave. Unlike the Maryland bill, which would require leave to be paid by employers, the Indiana bill considers a family leave that would be paid by the state, employee/employer contributions, and/or third-party insurance

Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

If passed, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act will take effect January 1, 2018, and will require employers to provide eligible employees with earned sick and safe leave for the following reasons:

  • Employee’s or family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or condition, and preventive health care needs
  • Certain absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or family member

Employers with 15 or more employees would be required to provide paid leave, while employers with fewer than 15 employees would need to allow unpaid leave.

Leave would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum accrual of 56 hours per year. Employees would be limited to using up to 80 hours at any one time. Employees would be eligible if they work at least eight hours per week and have completed 90 days or 480 hours of employment, whichever is shorter. Certain employees in the construction industry covered by a collective bargaining agreement would not be eligible.

Indiana Act Concerning Labor and Safety

Indiana’s Act Concerning Labor and Safety would launch a study to determine whether Indiana should offer state-paid family leave. It’s similar to the Maryland law in that it would entitle employees to paid leave. However, the leave would be paid by the state or a third-party insurer, via employee and/or employer contributions.

The bill has passed both the House and the Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature. If signed, the study will begin July 1, 2017.

What ReedGroup Is Doing 

ReedGroup continuously monitors pending legislation. If Maryland’s bill passes, ReedGroup will add a new chapter to Leave Advisor™. In addition, we’ll continue to track Indiana’s progress and alert our clients when and if they need to take action.