Maryland's legislature recently passed the Healthy Retail Employee Act, which provides new meal and rest break requirements for certain non-exempt retail employees in Maryland. MD Code, Labor & Employment, § 3-710. The Act applies to any employer (1) engaged in a retail business in Maryland that has 50 or more retail employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or proceeding year, or (2) that owns one or more retail franchises with the same trade name with 50 or more retail employees in Maryland for each working day in each of 20 or more weeks in the current or proceeding year. Under the Act, a covered employer must provide: one 15-minute break to any employee that works four to six consecutive hours; one 30-minute break to any employee who works between six and eight consecutive hours; and one 30-minute break to any employee who works more than eight consecutive hours, plus a 15-minute break for every additional four consecutive hours.
If an employee works six or fewer consecutive hours, then the employee may waive his or her break by written agreement. Further, an employee may take a working break if the type of work prevents the employee from being relieved of work during the break, the employee is allowed to eat a meal while working, the working breaks is counted towards the employee's work hours, and the employer and employee mutually agree in writing to the working break. For more information on Maryland's Healthy Retail Employee Act, check out the Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation's frequently asked questions.