• Lynette A. Whitfield

Maryland Healthy Working Families Act Entitles Workers To Sick & Safe Leave

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HWFA) took effect February 1, 2018, and provides most employees in Maryland with earned sick and safe leave. Although there are a few exceptions, this relatively new law applies to most Maryland employees who work at least 12 hours per week on a regular basis.

Sick and safe leave allows employees to take leave to care for their own or their family members’ mental or physical condition, to obtain preventative medical care for themselves or their family members, for maternity or paternity leave, or for any absence due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against them or their family members. Employees are required to provide a reasonable advanced notice of this leave if they are able, or to provide notice as soon as practicable if the leave was not foreseeable.


Although the HWFA requires that all employers with employees whose main employment location is in Maryland to provide sick and safe leave, it does not require all employers to offer paid sick and safe leave. Only employers with more than 15 employees are required to provide paid sick and safe leave; if an employer has less than 15 employees then it is required to provide unpaid sick and safe leave.


Employees who have not been given sick and safe leave by their employers may receive not only the full monetary value of any unpaid sick and safe leave, but could also receive up to three times the monetary value of the leave not provided. Employers who violate the HWFA could also face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each employee for whom the employer is not in compliance with the HWFA. Because this is a new law, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has developed a Frequently Asked Questions page to provide both employees and employers with guidance about the HWFA.


If you are a Maryland employee who would like to discuss your workplace situation, please contact our office online or via telephone at (301) 869-8774 to schedule a consultation.

This blog is not intended to provide legal advice or representation, but rather to provide very general information regarding a variety of subject areas. The viewing of the information contained on this blog does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship. Further, this information should not be relied upon without first consulting with an attorney regarding your specific situation.