Below you will find any recent or upcoming changes to the family and medical leave and/or leave income replacement benefit law(s) within this state.
Maryland Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (MD FMLI)
What is the Update?
Maryland recently passed a new paid family and medical leave law. Here is what we know about the law thus far:
- 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 birthing parent, for example, who is disabled due to their pregnancy could receive up to 12 weeks of medical leave and have an additional 12 weeks to bond with their 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.
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.
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.
The Larkin Company will consider any law changes carefully, and update our internal resources and processes, as well as our employee leave information packets, if necessary.
We will continue to monitor any updates regarding the law and will keep our clients updated.
Further Company Considerations
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The Larkin Company has taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind as to its accuracy or completeness. These resources should not be construed or substituted for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information provided herein, we encourage you to seek competent legal advice from a licensed attorney or appropriate professionals.