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03 May

May 2022: Maryland Enacts a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Posted at

6:43pm

in

Update Applicable to:
All employers with 15 or more employees in the state of Maryland

What happened?
On April 9, 2022, the Maryland legislature voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the Time to Care Act of 2022 (SB 275/HB8), making it the eleventh state (in addition to the District of Columbia) to adopt a statewide family and medical leave program (the Program).

What are the details?
The purpose of the Program is to provide temporary paid benefits to a covered individual who is taking leave from employment.  The Program mirrors the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), in part, and expressly states that the secretary of labor shall adopt regulations and procedures consistent with the FMLA and relevant state law. Benefits will include taking leave for the following reasons:

  • To care for a child during the first year after the child’s birth or after the placement of the child through foster care, kinship, or adoption;
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • The covered individual has a serious health condition;
  • To care for a service member who is the covered individual’s next of kin; or
  • The covered individual has a qualifying exigency arising out of the deployment of a service member who is a family member of the covered individual.

Beginning October 1, 2023, every employee working in Maryland, self-employed individuals, and employers with 15 more employees participating in the Program must begin contributing to the Program fund (the Fund). A covered employee is one who has worked at least 680 hours over a 12-month period immediately preceding the date on which leave is to begin.

The secretary of labor will set the respective rates of contribution for employers with 15 or more employees by June 1, 2023.  Funding requirements will be subject to change every two years based on recommendations by the secretary of labor, in consultation with state agencies and relevant stakeholders. Employers that have 14 employees or fewer, however, are not required to contribute to the Fund. Employees of those smaller employers, however, will still be required to pay their required contributions.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 275 (SB 275)

Time to Care Website

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the links provided above and take advantage of this lead time to identify covered employees, prepare their payroll systems to include any additional payroll tax, and consult experienced Maryland employment counsel to review current paid time off, leaves of absence, and family and medical leave policies to account for these new requirements.

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