Fighting Against an Illegal Sick Leave Policy

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We are calling out the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) for failing to recognize the dignity and respect of the workers of the State of Maryland by trying to side-step the law.

On June 7, 2017, SDAT implemented an illegal sick leave policy that required employees to disclose private medical information to justify the use of earned sick leave.

The call-in policy ran counter to state and federal law and was a direct violation of our contract. Under the MOU Article 10 Section 3, the employer shall not ask for information related to a diagnosis or condition, except as permitted by law. The policy would force employees to answer a barrage of invasive personal questions to use their earned sick leave. Employees would be required to call-in and answer an immediate supervisor’s questions, for example:

  • What essential job functions of your job can you not perform?
  • Have you previously taken leave for this condition? If so, when?
  • What is the reason for your absence?
  • Will you see a doctor today for your injury/illness?

MPEC members stood up to this offensive and disrespectful policy, and we stopped it two days after implementation. The agency rescinded the policy under the justification that there was a need to discuss the policy with the unions.

We are deeply concerned that the agency does not recognize the fatal defects of their call-in policy. We are committed to demonstrating our resolve to stop any reiteration of this policy and will continue to ensure that workers are treated with respect.

MPEC President Jerry Smith sent a letter to SDAT demanding answers - see the letter here.