Legislative Alert: Your Community Association Should Pay Attention to These New Employment Laws
This fall, a couple very important employment laws could impact your community association, including:
- Maryland Updated Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
- Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act
The attorneys in Lerch Early's Community Associations practice are happy to provide this guide to help you understand and prepare for the coming changes.
Maryland Updated Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
Takes Effect: October 1
Summary: The updated Equal Pay for Equal Work Act significantly expands and strengthens Maryland's current equal pay law. It is notable that the new law addresses not just compensation differentials but ALSO "employment opportunities" that are based on sex as well as on gender identity. It also bars employer efforts to silence employees, including any agreement to waive an employee's right to discuss or disclose his or her own wages. Included in the new law are strong enforcement features including injunctive relief, attorneys' fees, and liquidated damages.
Next Steps: With employment counsel, carefully analyze pay practices to make sure all employees are fairly compensated. Managers and HR personnel should be trained on new act requirements and made aware of (or reminded of) the danger of retaliation against employees.
"Is Maryland's New Equal Pay for Equal Work Act a Game Changer?"
Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act
Takes Effect: October 1
Summary: Simply, the law was passed to establish minimum standards for the amount of earned sick and safe leave county employers provide. The new law requires employers with five or more employees to provide eligible employees with at least 56 hours of earned sick and safe leave. Employers with fewer than 5 employees must provide up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave and 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave per year. The law establishes a framework that includes minimum levels of sick leave accrual, a requirement to provide leave to regular part-time employees (that is, individuals who regularly work at least 8 hours per week), and provisions for allowing employees to carry over accrued but unused sick and safe leave to the next year. The statute contains strong anti-retaliation provisions.
Next Steps: Amend your company's sick and safe policy to align with the Montgomery County policy. Train managers on the core requirements of the act, and what to do when sick and safe leave is requested by eligible employees.
"What Employers Need to Know About Montgomery County's New Sick and Safe Leave Act"
"Eight Ways to Adjust Your Company's Paid Leave Policy to Comply with Montgomery County's Sick and Safe Leave Law"
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Courts and administrative agencies will expect compliance with these new statutes, and that employers will act promptly in updating policies and training managers. Proactive employers that take meaningful steps to comply with these statutes will enhance the morale of employees and also gain a competitive advantage.
For additional assistance, please contact an attorney in Lerch Early's Community Associations practice.