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Maryland Bill Would Require Companies to Provide Paid Sick Leave to Employees

In the United States, paid sick leave is not a guaranteed benefit to all employees. The legislature in Maryland is looking to tackle this issue with the admission of a new bill that would require all companies in Maryland with at least 15 employees to provide at least seven days of paid sick leave to their full time staff per year. Any company that is smaller in size, according to the bill, would be required to provide at the least unpaid sick leave. Any part time employees would be able to earn sick leave based on the number of hours that they accrue throughout a designated period.

How Would Companies Know if They Fall Under the Requirement?

According to the bill, to determine whether a company falls under the requirement, the necessary parties would evaluate the number of employees at the business monthly during the prior year. This calculation would include any employees regardless of whether they are full time, part time, seasonal, or temporary. The bill further states that employees are not eligible to receive as compensation any unused accrued sick days, and parameters have been put into place to cap the number of sick days to be provided per year.

Life Events Used for the Paid Sick and Safe Leave

Additionally, the bill addresses what paid sick and safe leave can be used for. They are the following:

  • When an employee has a mental or physical illness, injury, or other disorder
  • When the employee requires preventative medical care either for him/herself or a family member
  • When the employee needs the sick leave to care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or other disorder
  • When the employee’s absence results from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and the leave is needed for the employee (or the employee’s family members) for medical or mental health treatment, legal services, temporary relocation, or services from a victim services organization associated with the incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

The Correlation Between Paid Sick Leave and Work-Related Injuries

The relationship between an employee having paid sick and safe leave and work-related injuries is strongly correlated. Employees that have the advantage of paid sick leave are 28% less likely to suffer from a work-related injury. According to the study, published by the National Health Interview Survey, researchers had data from more than 38,000 workers, between 2005 and 2008, and found that, accounting for injury factors like age, sex, and pay rate, access to sick leave led to a reduced risk of work-related injuries.

This is due in large part to the circumstances surrounding the employee when he or she gets a work-related injury. If the employee does not have access to sick leave and goes to his or her place of employment while ill, the symptoms of drowsiness, weakness, being less focused, and the impact of medicines could impair his or her ability to perform a task, leading to a higher risk of injury. Additionally, where that employee has an injury and cannot take the sick leave to recover, he or she may exacerbate the injury at the work site, which could lend itself to longer-term, more debilitating injuries.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

Work-related illnesses and injuries can have long-term, hazardous effects. If you or a loved one has suffered from a work-related injury and you are having workers’ compensation issues, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.