Maryland

Maryland

Maryland recently passed a new paid family and medical leave law.

Maryland Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (MD FMLI)

What is the Update?

Here is what we know so far about the new Maryland law:

  • The law applies to employers with just one employee in Maryland.
  • Contributions begin October 1, 2023. Employers will also be required to contribute if they have 15 or more employees. The specific details have not been confirmed, such as confirmed employee and employer contribution rates.
  • The benefits themselves then become available for employees beginning January 1, 2025. Employees can make a claim for leave under the law as of this date.
  • Employees will qualify if they work 680 hours for any employer in the state in the 12-month period prior to the start of a leave.
  • They will be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave for parental, family care, medical, military service member care, and qualifying exigency leave. Plus, an additional 12 weeks of paid leave when an employee requires both medical and parental leave. A new mother, for example, who is disabled due to her pregnancy could receive up to 12 weeks of medical leave and have an additional 12 weeks to bond with her child.
  • Leave is generally job-protected, and maintenance of group health insurance benefits is required.
  • There is an expansive list of family members covered under the law: child, parent, parent-in-law, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, and sibling.
  • Benefit amount: 90% for those earning 65% or less of the state average weekly wage; for those earning greater than 65% of the state average weekly wage, 90% of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to 65% of the state average weekly wage plus 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage that is greater than 65% of the state average weekly wage. The maximum benefit for the first year of the program is $1,000 per week.
  • Employees must exhaust all employer-provided paid leave that is not required to be provided under law (such as vacation) before receiving benefits under this program. In other words, employer-provided paid leave would not run concurrently with this program.
  • Private plans are allowed as long as they meet or exceed the requirements of the law.

Handbook/Policy Updates

The law does not state any requirements for updating employer handbooks currently. However, you may wish to add information in your handbooks about this law as the live date of the program draws nearer. It is generally our recommendation to include any leave benefit information in your handbooks, where you have an employee population in a particular state. We will also keep our clients posted regarding any updates.

Notice Requirements

Employers will be required to provide a notice to new hires and annually thereafter. The notice is not released by MD at this time. We will provide this to our clients, once published.

Larkin Action

We will continue to monitor any updates regarding the law and will keep our clients updated and provide any important information to you.

Further Company Considerations 

N/A

Resources

Here is a link to the bill SB 275. Once the state website and other resources become available, we will provide further resources.

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