The Time to Care Act has passed, and beginning on January 1, 2025, most Maryland employees can apply for paid leave from a state fund. Fortunately, while this law took effect June 1, 2022, it isn’t functional until October 1, 2023, when employee and employer contributions start, and employees will not be eligible to take leave until January 1, 2025-allowing employers time to prepare. Essentially, employees who worked at least 680 hours over the 12 months immediately preceding the date on which leave is to begin are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave for health and caretaking reasons.
This leave can run concurrently with FMLA leave and, in many cases, essentially makes FMLA paid leave. That said, for employers who do not fall under the FMLA, it is important to note that the Time to Care Act does contain job protection similar to FMLA.
While employers should start to consider next steps related to implementing new leave laws, they have some lead time. While employees won’t be eligible to take leave until 2025, employers should start communicating with employees about the new law next year since they will see contributions to the fund deducted from their paychecks beginning October 1, 2023. There are also a few unanswered questions based on how the law is drafted that I expect we will get answers to over the next 12-18 months.
ABOUT SARAH SAWYER
As an experienced business advisor and litigator, Sarah works with business owners to implement policies and practices that keep their businesses running smoothly, helps them avoid expensive legal battles, and fights for them when litigation arises. Sarah focuses her practice on providing her clients with general business advice, drafting and analyzing employment documents ranging from employment agreements and severance agreements to employee handbooks, and litigating all aspects of general civil and commercial disputes.
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