While federal employment laws set important standards that protect workers throughout the nation, states including Maryland have their own laws that extend these protections. Some of Maryland’s most crucial pieces of employment legislation include a higher minimum wage, requirements for healthcare continuation coverage for smaller employers, and pregnancy accommodation rights.
Here is an overview of Maryland’s labor and employment laws. Keep in mind that in addition to complying with federal and state laws, all employers must comply with any municipal laws that apply to their company.
Maryland’s Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act states that all employers with 15 or more employees are required to offer reasonable accommodations to those who are temporarily disabled as a result of pregnancy unless it would cause them undue hardship.
These reasonable accommodations include changing an employee’s work hours or job duties, relocating their work area, providing them with a leave of absence, or transferring them to less strenuous or hazardous positions.
Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work law bars employers from paying wages to employees of a particular sex or gender identity a lower rate than that paid to those of another sex or gender identity in cases where both employees are working at the same establishment and carrying out comparable work.
However, pay differentials are permitted based on work that is performed at different times of day or work that requires different skills, duties, services or abilities, among other exceptions.
The current minimum wage in the state of Maryland is $13.25 per hour for large employers, which is defined as those who have 15 or more employees. For smaller employers, the minimum wage is $12.80. Employees who receive tips can use a tip credit.
Most nonexempt employees must receive 1.5 times their typical hourly rate for any hours that they work above 40 in a single work week, with just a few exceptions.
The Healthcare Continuation Coverage law in Maryland requires employers to offer continuation coverage for up to 18 months to individuals who are losing their group healthcare coverage as a result of employment termination, divorce or the death of a covered employee.
Family and Medical Leave
Maryland’s Flexible Leave Act states that employers having 15 or more employees and providing paid leave must allow their employees to use it to care for immediate family members such as parents, spouses or children who are ill. This applies even if the illness is not considered serious. However, the act does not limit or extend the maximum amount of leave that is allowed under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Meanwhile, the state’s Parental Leave Act states that employers who have 15 to 49 employees must permit eligible employees to take as much as six work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 months for the birth of a child or the placement of a child with the employee as part of an adoption or foster care. To be eligible, an employee must request parental leave, have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and work at a work site where 15 or more employees work within a 75-mile radius.
Other Types of Leave
Maryland employers must also comply with other time off and leave laws, such as family military leave, emergency responder leave, jury duty leave, voting leave, crime victim and witness leave, military leave, and bone marrow and organ donor leave.
The state of Maryland requires employers to make sure that smoking does not take place in any indoor areas, including conference rooms, hallways, restrooms and cafeterias. Signs must also be posted at each entrance to remind everyone that smoking is not allowed.
Occupational Safety and Health
The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Act states that employers must provide and maintain a healthful and safe workplace for all employees. They are required to keep current lists of the hazardous chemicals that are present on a job site, offer safety training under certain circumstances, and ensure the safety of employees who are carrying out work within 10 feet of high-voltage wires.
Pay Frequency and Statements
Employers are required to set regular paydays for their employees and may choose a pay frequency that is biweekly or semimonthly. For exempt employees, less frequent paydays may be selected. Should a payday fall on a non-working day, such as a legal holiday or a weekend, wages must be paid to the employee on the preceding work day.
Employers must also provide their employee with a statement of their gross earnings, along with any deductions that have been made for each pay period.
Contact the Premier Benefits Consultants
For help staying on top of the latest regulations and ensuring compliance with all applicable state, federal and municipal employment laws, contact the premier benefits and compliance consultants at Business Benefits Group (BBG) today.