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Top Ten Issues In Employment Law For HR Professionals In Virginia in 2008: #10

Published by on January 29, 2009

We will be posting over the next week the top ten developments in employment law for HR professionals in Virginia in 2008.  The list is in no particular order.  Topic number 10 is: Neighboring States Enact New Employee Leave Laws.  More after the break. Both Maryland and DC in 2008 enacted legislation that provides employees […]

We will be posting over the next week the top ten developments in employment law for HR professionals in Virginia in 2008.  The list is in no particular order.  Topic number 10 is:

Neighboring States Enact New Employee Leave Laws.  More after the break.

Both Maryland and DC in 2008 enacted legislation that provides employees mandatory leave in certain situations.  Our prior posts on these laws are here and here.

Maryland’s Flexible Leave Act went into effect on October 1, 2008.  The law, which applies to employers of 15 or more employees, requires that employees be permitted to use leave for the illness of immediate family members.  Employees must therefore be given the option to use any type of accrued, paid leave available to them (sick, vacation, comp-time, PTO, etc.) when an immediate family member becomes ill.  

Every employer in the District must provide paid leave to its employees.  Paid leave in the amount of at least equal to one hour for every 37 hours work for employers with 100 or more employees.  Employers with 25-99 employees must provide an hour of paid leave for every 43 hours worked, and employers with less than 25 employees must provide an hour of leave for every 87 hours worked.  Unused leave is is carried over from year to year, however not reimbursed upon termination. 

Both the Maryland FLA and the District Act expressly prohibit retaliation against employees for exercising their rights under the laws.  The District’s law also subjects employers to statutory penalties for violations of the Act. 

These local regulations, along with the potential Healthy Families Act (requiring employers with 15 or more employee to provide seven paid sick days to employees) create new leave obligations for employers.  Virginia employers should go back and review their respective leave and vacation policies.  Employers with employees in Maryland or DC should make sure they are following the new laws.  Other Virginia employers should still review their leave policies to ensure they are thorough and clear so that they are prepared for any obligations thrust on them.  Employees are sure to be aware of any laws implemented that provide them paid leave time!

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