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Some states provide for various types of leave beyond what is required under the federal FMLA. Maryland has leave provisions involving accrued sick and safe leave, company-provided accrued paid leave, and paid sick leave, as well as leave for Civil Air Patrol duty, pregnancy disability, family members in the military, and parental leave. In April 2022, the Time to Care Act was enacted, providing for paid family and medical leave.
Effective February 11, 2018, employers with 15 or more employees are to provide accrued paid sick/safety leave to employees. Employers with under 15 employees are to provide accrued unpaid sick/safety leave.
Employees are eligible if they work 12 or more hours per week. The provision does not, however, apply to employees:
Employees begin accruing leave February 11, 2018, or upon hire. They accrue one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. They need not accrue leave during:
Employers are not required to allow an employee to
Employers may have a waiting period of 106 calendar days after hire, during which an employee may not use leave.
Employers may front load the leave at the beginning of the year rather than awarding leave as it accrues. If so, the employer need not allow an employee to carry over unused leave.
Employees may carry over unused leave at the end of the year into the next year, but employers may limit the carry over to 40 hours. Unused leave need not be paid out upon termination.
Employees may take leave for the following reasons:
Family members include the following:
If the need for leave is foreseeable, employees are to provide reasonable advance notice of not more than seven days before the leave begins. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, employees are to provide notice as soon as practicable. Employees are generally expected to comply with the company notice or procedural requirements for requesting other leave, assuming those requirements do not interfere with the employee’s ability to use earned sick and safe leave.
Employers may, however, deny a leave request under the following situations:
Employees may choose to make up the absence instead of using accrued leave. Otherwise, they may take leave in the smallest increment your payroll system uses to account for other absences. Employees may not be required to take leave in an increment exceeding four hours.
Employers may require employees to provide verification that the leave was used appropriately.
When wages are paid, employers are to provide a written statement of the amount of leave available for use by the employee. This may be done electronically. Employers are to retain records related to the leave for at least three years.
Employers are to post a notice regarding the law’s provisions.
The law includes special provisions for tipped employees in the restaurant industry.
Maryland private employers with 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year who provide paid leave must allow employees who are primarily employed in Maryland to use any type of accrued paid leave to care for an ill family member under the same conditions and policy rules that would apply if the employee took leave for his or her own illness.
The law requires employers to allow employees to choose the type of leave they want to use, as long as it has been earned and is provided under a collective bargaining agreement or an employment policy. There are no eligibility criteria, but the employee would need to have accrued the paid leave and have it available.
Employees may take time off to care for an immediate family member, defined as a parent, a child, or a spouse, with an illness. Unlike the FMLA, there is no definition of “illness.”
Employees may also take the leave for bereavement purposes related to the death of an immediate family member. For this, immediate family members include the employee’s spouse, parent, or child (which includes an adopted, biological, or foster child or parent, a stepchild or stepparent, a legal ward or guardian, or a person standing in loco parentis).
The law indicates that it does not affect leave granted under the federal FMLA.
As of January 1, 2026, Maryland employees may file for paid family and medical leave benefits from the state's Department of Labor. If employers already provide benefits that meet the law’s requirements, they need not provide more, but must file their plan with the state DOL.
Employers are covered by the law if they have at least one employee in the state.
Employees will contribute to the state fund via payroll deductions. Employers with 15 or more employees will be required to contribute to the program, those with fewer than 15 will not, but their employees will contribute and be eligible for paid time off. Contributions begin October 1, 2024.
Employees are eligible to take the leave if they have worked at least 680 hours over the 12-month period immediately preceding the date on which leave is to begin.
Generally, employees get up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, but if employees take 12 weeks of leave because of a serious illness, they could take another 12 weeks to bond with a new child for a total of up to 24 weeks.
The 12-month period begins on the first day of the calendar week in which a covered individual files an application for benefits.
Leave under this law may run concurrently with leave under the federal FMLA, as long as the employee is eligible for both and the reason qualifies for both.
Employers may require that FAMLI benefits be coordinated with other benefits or leave. Employees and employers may agree to use paid leave and FAMLI benefits to provide 100 percent of the employee's wages.
Employees may not take intermittent leave in an increment of less than four hours.
Employees who take the paid leave fraudulently lose their right to the law’s benefits for one year.
Employees may apply for FAMLI benefits 60 days before the anticipated leave start date and up to 60 days after the leave begins.
Reasons for leave
Eligible employees may take the paid family or medical leave for the following reasons:
Family member include the following:
Maintenance of health benefits
Group health benefits must be maintained while on this leave, and employees are to be reinstated. Reinstatement may be denied only for cause, and only to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the employer’s operations.
Employers may not take adverse action against employees for exercising their rights under the law. Reinstatement may be denied only for cause, and only to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the employer’s operations.
Employers must provide written notice to each newly hired employee and annually thereafter.
Employers must notify employees of their eligibility within five business days of being put on notice of the need for leave.
Employees must give 30 days' advance notice notice of the need for foreseeable leave; otherwise notice as soon as practicable.
Employers may require employees to provide a certification supporting the need for leave.
Employers with 15 or more employees are to allow employees who are members of the Civil Air Patrol up to 15 days’ leave to respond to missions. Employees are eligible if they have been working for the employer for at least 90 days. Employees are to provide as much notice as possible regarding the beginning and end dates of leave. After arriving at an emergency location, employees must notify the employer with an estimate of the amount of time needed to complete the mission. Employees must also report any necessary changes in the time required.
Employers may require verification of the eligibility of the employee for the leave. If the employee fails to provide such verification, the employer may deny the leave. Employers may not require employees to exhaust all other available leave before using Civil Air Patrol leave.
Employees and employers may negotiate who is responsible for paying for benefits during leave. However, employees are entitled to benefits accrued prior to leave upon return from leave.
Employees taking state military leave may not concurrently use Civil Air Patrol Leave.
At the end of leave, employees are entitled to return to their position or an equivalent one, unless unable to do so because of circumstances unrelated to the leave.
Employers with 15 or more employees are to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy. If an employee requests a reasonable accommodation, employers must explore with the employee all possible means of providing the accommodation. Reasonable accommodations could include the following:
Employers may require an employee to provide a certification concerning the medical advisability of a reasonable accommodation. Such a certification must include the following:
Employers need to post a notice regarding employee rights under the law.
Employers with 50 or more employees will be subject to the Deployment of Family Members in the Armed Forces provisions, and need to allow employees to take leave from work on the day that an immediate family member is leaving for, or returning from, active duty outside the U.S. as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Employees are eligible if they have worked for an employer for the previous 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.
Immediate family members include spouses, parents, or domestic partners.
Employers may require an employee to provide proof verifying that the leave is being taken under this provision.
Employers may not require employees to use compensatory, sick, or vacation leave when taking leave under this provision.
Employers with 15 to 50 employees in the state for each working day of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year must allow eligible employees to take unpaid parental leave.
Employees are eligible if they worked for your company for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months before leave is to begin, and work at a site with at least 15 company employees within 75 miles. Independent contractors are not employees.
Eligible employees may take up to six workweeks of job-protected unpaid parental leave during any 12-month period for the birth of their child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care.
You may deny the leave if the denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to your organization’s operations. If so, you must notify the employee of the denial before leave begins.
Employees may choose to (or you may require employees to) substitute accrued paid time off for unpaid leave.
You may require employees to give written notice of the need for leave at least 30 days in advance.
During leave, group health coverage must be maintained in the same manner as if the employee had not taken leave.
The Parental Leave Act does not govern requesting documentation supporting the need for leave.
Employers with 15 or more employees in the state of MD must provide time off for eligible employees to donate an organ or bone marrow.
Employees are eligible if, as of the date the requested leave is to begin, they have:
Eligible employees may take:
Employees must provide written physician verification to the employer that:
The donation leave may not run concurrent with federal FMLA leave.
The law does not prohibit employers from giving employees the option to use PTO, vacation, sick or other paid leave that the employer might provide concurrently with organ or bone marrow donation leave so that the employee can be paid for all or part of the leave instead of taking it unpaid.
Employers may not consider any time taken as donation leave as a break in the employee’s continuous service for the purpose of the eligible employee’s right to salary adjustments, sick leave, vacation, paid time off, annual leave, or seniority.
Employers must maintain group health plan coverage for the duration of the donation leave.
Employees are to be reinstated to their position or an equivalent one.
Employer may , however, deny restoration of the eligible employee’s position because of conditions unrelated to the exercise of rights established under this subtitle.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR)
Maryland Commission on Civil Rights
Maryland Code, Article – Labor and Employment, Section 3, 3-1301 through 3-1311 Healthy Working Families Act
Maryland Code, Article - Labor and Employment, Title 8.3. Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program. See also SB 275
Maryland Code, Article - Labor and Employment, Title 3 Employment Standards and Commissions, Subtitle 14 (organ/bone marrow donation 3-1401 et seq.