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Maryland Amends Flexible Leave Law

Published by on July 1, 2009

In 2008, Maryland adopted legislation that required employers (with 15 or more employees) to allow their employees to use accrued, paid leave to care for an ill, immediate family member.  The law, however, was unclear in its definitions of immediate family member, employer, employees, and leave with pay.  (Our prior post on the flexible leave law […]

In 2008, Maryland adopted legislation that required employers (with 15 or more employees) to allow their employees to use accrued, paid leave to care for an ill, immediate family member.  The law, however, was unclear in its definitions of immediate family member, employer, employees, and leave with pay.  (Our prior post on the flexible leave law is here.)  More after the break regarding recent amendments that attempt to clarify these issues.

On May 19, 2009, amendments to the flexible leave law were passed as emergency legislation.  Governor Martin O’Malley signed the law into effect.  The amendments clarified the following:

 

  • “Immediate family member” now means instead of includes a child, spouse or parent
  • “Child” is an adopted, biological or foster child, stepchild, or legal ward who is: (I) under 18 years, or (II) at least 18 years and incapable of self-care due to mental or physical disability; and
  • “Parent” is an adoptive, biological, or foster parent, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or a person standing in loco parentis.
  • “Employer” is defined as someone who “employs 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.”
  • “Employee” is someone who is primarily employed in the State.
  • “Leave with pay” includes sick leave, vacation time, paid time off, and compensatory time. However, it does not include:
    • a benefit provided under an employee welfare benefit plan subject to Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974;
    • an insurance benefit including benefits from an employer’s self-insured plan;
    • worker’s compensation;
    • unemployment compensation;
    • a disability benefit; or
    • a similar benefit.

Reference:  Md. SB 562 (2009) Labor and Employment Flexible Leave

Contributed by K.C. Osuji

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