Earlier this month, Maryland joined nine other states and the District of Columbia in establishing a right to paid family and medical leave for employees in the state. Senate Bill 275, or the Time to Care Act of 2022, entitles Maryland workers to up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave to deal with their own or a family member’s serious illness, welcome a new child, or address needs related to a family member’s military deployment. Workers will be paid out of an insurance pool funded by contributions from both employees and their employers. Click here to read Senate Bill 275.
The legislation contains the following key dates:
- June 1, 2023 – Maryland Secretary of Labor must adopt regulations to administer the program.
- October 1, 2023 – Employer and employee contributions to the insurance pool begin.
- January 1, 2025 – Covered employees can begin receiving benefits.
Which Employers are Covered by the Law?
All employers with one or more employees in Maryland are covered by the law.
Which Employees Are Entitled to Benefits?
Employees in Maryland who have worked at least 680 hours over the last 12 months are entitled to leave for any of the following reasons:
- To care for a newborn child or a child newly placed for adoption, foster care, or kinship care with the employee
- To care for a family member with a serious health condition
- To attend to the employee’s own serious health condition that results in the employee being unable to perform the functions of his or her position
- To care for a service member with a serious health condition due to military service who is the employee’s next of kin, or
- To attend to a qualifying exigency arising out of the deployment of a service member who is a family member of the employee.
What Benefits Are Employees Entitled to Receive?
Covered employees are entitled to 12 weeks of continuous or intermittent leave per year. Where an employee requires both parental leave and medical leave to deal with his or her own serious health condition, the employee is entitled to 24 weeks of leave per year. Employees will be paid on a sliding scale of up to 90 percent of their average weekly wages, up to a cap of $1,000 per week. As under the federal FMLA, employees are entitled to be reinstated in their jobs upon returning from leave.
How Much Will Employers Have to Pay Into the Fund?
The Secretary of Labor will set the rates of contribution for employers and employees by June 1, 2023, and review them bi-annually. Though all employers are covered by the law, only employers of 15 or more workers must contribute to the insurance pool.
As we await the June 1, 2023 regulations, we encourage you to reach out with any questions about the new Maryland law or other state leave laws. In addition to Maryland and the District of Columbia, paid leave laws have been enacted in Colorado, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California. Employers with workers in any of those locations should be familiar with their legal obligations with respect to paid leave and are encouraged to reach out to your regular Saul Ewing LLP attorney for assistance.