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It’s Time for a National ‘Workflex’ Policy

By Crystal Frey, 09/30/18

The well-intentioned Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which took effect earlier this year, ensures paid leave options for many employees. However, it also creates unintended roadblocks for employers like mine, Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), which already provides more generous paid leave benefits than required under the law.

How is this possible, you might ask?

Well, while CRC provided more paid leave than the Maryland law requires (48 hours vs. 40 hours) and a larger “carryover” to the following year (80 hours vs. 64 hours), our accrual policy was structured in a way that did not technically comply with certain provisions of the law, which mandated either a lump sum be provided at the start of the year or specific accrual provisions.

Our employees were strongly opposed to changing our plan, however, and made it clear they preferred our existing leave structure. After some trial and error, we found a way to restructure our more generous plan to meet the new requirements while ensuring our hard-working employees were not penalized by the law’s well-intentioned mandates.
Women in Maryland earn 84 cents for every dollar earned by men

Needless to say, the process created significant headaches for our business, including costly hours of additional staff time and paperwork. Some employers in our situation might have decided to take the simplest course: Comply with the Maryland state law, and do no more and no less, potentially reducing paid leave benefits for many employees. But we are committed to attracting and retaining the top talent, and such an approach would hurt our business and our employees.

Read the entire piece on the Baltimore Sun here.