New laws that begin on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in D.C. and Maryland affect paid leave, car seat safety measures, employer non-compete restrictions and more.
Here's a breakdown of what's changing.
New Laws in Washington, DC
Paid Leave: Moms and dads who work in D.C. can receive a month more of paid parental leave come Oct. 1, and D.C. employees who need to care for a family member or take medical leave will qualify for six more weeks of paid leave than what was previously offered.
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The D.C. Council passed the Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2022 in July to expand the D.C. Paid Family Leave program.
Here's the maximum amount of paid leave D.C. employees can receive within a one-year period:
- Parental leave expands from eight weeks to 12 weeks
- Family leave expands from six weeks to 12 weeks
- Medical leave expands from six weeks to 12 weeks
The legislation also eliminates the one-week waiting period for employees to receive benefit payments.
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Employers also benefit from the act, which reduces their contribution rate from 0.62% to 0.26% of gross wages effective for the quarter beginning July 1, 2022.
Non-Compete Restrictions: The Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022 restricts D.C. employers from entering into non-compete agreements with employees earning less than $150,000 and licensed physicians earning less than $250,000.
Originally, the law enacted in January 2021 would have implemented a sweeping ban on almost all employee non-compete agreements. But D.C. continually put the law on the back burner after businesses raised concerns. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the amended act into law in July after the D.C. Council received feedback from stakeholders.
Unlike the 2021 law, the amended act allows employers to restrict current employees from working other jobs in certain situations, such as those that could compromise confidential information or create conflicts of interest.
The law is not retroactive and doesn't affect employers from enforcing pre-existing non-compete agreements.
New Laws in Maryland
Car Seat Safety: Beginning Oct. 1, all children's car seats must be installed rear-facing until the riders are at least two years old, unless a child meets or exceeds the height and weight on the seat's guidelines. Maryland lawmakers passed SB 176 in April to update the state's law that protects children traveling on roadways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA ) says parents should keep their children rear-facing for as long as possible, as it's the safest position in a crash. "Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer," NHTSA said.
Car seat research shows that children up to 23 months old are about 75% less likely to die or sustain serious injury in a rear-facing car seat than in a forward-facing one because the force of the crash is spread more evenly across the back of the car seat and the child's body when they're rear-facing, according to Consumer Reports. Rear-facing also limits the motion of the head during a crash, reducing the potential for neck injuries and keeps the child more contained, Consumer Reports said.
Move Over Law: The Move Over Law in Maryland will expand to require drivers to make a lane change or slow down when approaching any stopped, standing or parked vehicle displaying warning signals – including hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals including traffic cones, caution signs, or non-vehicular warning signs, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
Go here for more information about the law.