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Employees and Employers - Important Guidelines

What I need to know as an employer or an employee.

Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law

Adoption Leave
This law states that employers who provide leave with pay to an employee following the birth of the employee’s child shall provide the same leave with pay to an employee when a child is placed with the employee for adoption.

Deployment Leave
Effective October 1, 2013, Deployment Leave authorizes individuals of employers with 50 or more employees who work full-time or part-time, have worked for the employer for the last 12 months, and has worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months, leave from work on the day that an immediate family member, which includes a spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild or sibling of the employee is leaving for, or returning from, active duty outside the United States as a member of the armed forces of the United States. 

An employer may not require an employee to use compensatory, sick, or vacation leave when taking leave under this section.

An employer may require an employee requesting leave under this section to submit proof to the employer verifying that the leave is being taken in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

Flexible Leave Act
Chapter 644 of the Laws of Maryland 2008, authorizes employees of employers with 15 or more individuals to use "leave with pay" for an illness in the employee's immediate family - a child, spouse or parent. Leave with pay is considered time away from work for which an employee is paid and includes sick leave, vacation time, and compensatory time.

An employee may only use leave with pay that has been earned and employees who earn more than one type of leave with pay may elect the type and amount of leave to use. An employee who uses leave with pay under this law is required to comply with the terms of any collective bargaining agreement or employment policy.

The Flexible Leave Act prohibits an employer from discharging, demoting, suspending, disciplining or otherwise discriminating against an employee or threatening to take any of these actions against an employee who exercises rights under this law. This law does not affect leave granted under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

More information on the Flexible Leave Act.

Parental Leave:
Under this law, an eligible employee is entitled to a total of six (6) workweeks of unpaid parental leave during any 12-month period for the birth of a child of the employee; or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care. The Commissioner will look to existing rules, regulations and interpretations under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act for guidance in administering this law.

Shift Breaks – The Healthy Retail Employee Act 
Who is covered by the Healthy Retail Employee Act (hereinafter "the Shift Break law")?

Employees who work in certain retail establishments are entitled to a non-working shift break depending upon the number of hours worked. To clarify, a retail establishment is an employer whose primary purpose is to sell goods to a consumer with the consumer present in the retail establishment at the time of sale, and does not include restaurant or wholesalers.

Furthermore, this law applies only to employers who are engaged in a retail business or retail franchise with the same trade name with 50 or more retail employees for each working day in the last 20 or more calendar weeks.

However, certain employees are exempt including the following:

  • Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement or other employment policy that provides for shift breaks of equal or greater duration to those required by this law;
  • Employees exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) including executive, administrative and professional employees, as well as employees engaged in outside sales work;
  • Commissioned sales employees of retail or service establishments are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA if more than half of the employee's earnings come from commissions and the employee averages at least one and one-half times the minimum wage for each hour worked;
  • Employees of the State, or a county or municipality within the State
  • Employees who work in a corporate office or other office location; and,
  • Employees who work at a single location with five or fewer employees.

Shift Break Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Read the law in its entirety.
Download a Shift Break Complaint Form (Word)

Job Applicant Fairness: Protection against the misuse of credit history by employers
The Job Applicant Fairness Act generally prohibits employers in Maryland from using a job applicant or employee's credit report to determine:

  1. whether to hire a job applicant;
  2. whether to terminate an employee; or
  3. the rate of pay or other conditions of employment for an employee.

Job Applicant Fairness Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Download the the Credit Check Complaint Form


User name and password privacy protection
Under this law, an employer may not request or require that an employee or applicant disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service through an electronic communications device.

An employer may require an employee to disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing non-personal accounts or services that provide access to the employer's internal computer or information systems.

An employer may not:

  • Discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize or threaten to discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize an employee for an employee's refusal to disclose any information; or
  • Fail or refuse to hire any applicant as a result of the applicant's refusal to disclose any information.

Read the username and password privacy protection law.