After a dramatic few days, Maryland joins nine other states (and the District of Columbia) in implementing a paid family and medical leave program. On March 31st, the Maryland General Assembly passed “The Time to Care Act of 2022,” which established the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund. Just eight days later, on April 8th, Republican Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the legislation citing the burden on small businesses, as well as the potential for up to 24 weeks of leave in a year (compared to only 12 weeks under the federal FMLA). The following day (April 9th), the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto, thereby finalizing the legislation.
A few key takeaways from Maryland’s paid family and medical leave program are:
- Beginning October 1, 2023, employers, employees, and self-employed individuals who elect to participate (see below) will be required to contribute to the fund.
- A self-employed individual can elect to participate in the program but must commit to at least three years of participation.
- The program is mandatory for employers with 15 or more employees.
- Generally, employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave within a year for qualifying reasons. However, in certain circumstances, an employee may be entitled to up to 24 weeks of leave within one year.
Maryland’s new law is a reminder to multi-state employers, as well as employers with remote workers, to stay up-to-date on state and local leave guidelines, in addition to federal leave laws.