September 23, 2016

What You Need to Know About Montgomery County’s New “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law” That Goes into Effect on October 1

Montgomery County’s new Earned Sick and Safe Law goes into effect on October 1. It will require most employers in the County to provide earned sick and safe leave to employees for work performed in the County.

The intent of the law is to provide employees with paid leave or time off to take care of things such as sickness, family illnesses or domestic violence. It helps to ensure that workers do not have to make a choice between keeping a job and going to work sick or not being able to have time to find a safe living environment. The bill is expected to provide support to our lowest income and most vulnerable workers.

The legislation requires employers to provide earned sick and safe leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours an employee works in the County up to 56 hours in a calendar year. To help small businesses, an employer with fewer than five employees would have to provide an employee with up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year plus an additional 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave. Many County employers already meet or exceed the benefits required by the new law and do not have to provide any additional leave to their employees because of this law.

Employers are required to give employees written notice that they are entitled to earned sick and safe leave under the new law. The notice must include a statement of how sick and safe leave is accrued, the permitted uses of earned sick and safe leave, a statement that the employer must not retaliate against an employee for exercising the rights established by the law.


  1. Is the "up to 56 hours: in addition to paid vacation, paid sick days, paid holidays, and paid family leave?

  2. No, if an employer currently provides 56 hours or more of vacation leave or paid time off each year, the employer does not have to provide additional earned sick and safe leave. As long as the leave provided can be used for the purposes defined in the law.

  3. Small business owners either have to move to a different county, close up shop or cut back on overhead to pay this

  4. The small employer with 5 or fewer will only have to come up with 3 days of paid leave - it generally isn't a hardship. And it's better than having an employee leave and re-training a new one.


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