Maryland Employers Should Prepare To Comply With New Paid Family Leave Requirements
As of 2022, no federal laws guarantee paid leave from work for short-term illnesses or family caregiving obligations; all legal entitlements to paid leave in the United States are based on state laws. Maryland has been an early adopter of statewide paid leave policies; only ten other states and the District of Columbia implemented similar policies sooner. Several Maryland laws require employers to provide medical leave and family leave benefits to employees; the newest of these takes effect next year, so employers should revise their payroll practices accordingly. For help adapting your company policies to the new law and resolving disputes with regulators, contact a Washington DC small business lawyer.
The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act requires all businesses that employ 15 or more employees to provide paid “sick and safe” leave to all employees. Businesses with fewer than 15 employees must provide these leave benefits to some employees but not to others. Employees may use this paid leave for the following reasons:
- The employee’s own medical conditions
- Caring for a close family member (the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or grandchild)
- Caring for a newborn, newly adopted, or newly fostered child
- Relocation, legal proceedings, and social services appointments related to domestic violence cases where the employee was a victim
Employees accrue one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours they work or every week that they work, whichever ends later. When employees quit their jobs, they cannot cash out their unused paid leave.
The Time to Care Act of 2022
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take an unpaid leave of absence from work for up to twelve weeks because of the employee’s own health condition or the health condition of a close relative, or to care for a child who has just joined the employee’s family through birth, adoption, or fostering. In 2022, the Maryland House and Senate passed the Time to Care Act after Gov. Hogan vetoed it.
This law sets up a fund that will enable employees to collect paid leave benefits from the state while taking an FMLA leave. Beginning on October 1, 2023, all employees in Maryland, including self-employed workers, will need to pay into this fund through their taxes. Employers with 15 or more employers on their payroll will be required to contribute to the fund; the state will set the required rates of employer contribution by the beginning of 2023. If your business has fewer than 15 employees, it will not need to contribute to the fund, but your employees will still need to contribute to it. A business law attorney can advise you on complying with this new law.
Contact Tobin O’Connor Ewing About Complying With Paid Leave Requirements
A small business lawyer can help you ensure that your company is meeting its legal obligations regarding paying sick leave and family leave benefits to employees and to comply with the new paid leave law. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help today.