As some point we will all need a Paid Family Leave policy to care for new babies, for aging parents, for loved ones with health needs or disabilities, or for helping ourselves.
Yet many Marylanders can’t take time to care because they lack paid family leave. Only 17% of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave and fewer than 40% have paid personal leave for short-term disabilities. Unpaid leave forces too many Americans–especially those whose needs are the greatest–to choose between income and family when illness strikes, when new babies arrive, or when the needs of a family member with a disability intensify. Nearly 25% of women, for example, take 10 or fewer days of parental leave, potentially putting themselves and their children at risk physically and emotionally.
Fulfilling their commitment to pass legislation establishing a paid family and medical leave program this year, the House of Delegates passed SB 275 “The Time to Care Act of 2022.” The Senate voted to concur. We are now at the threshold of making Maryland the next state to ensure families no longer have to chose between the job they need and the family they love.
Next the bill will be delivered to the Governor for his signature. Following presentment, the Governor has six days to consider the bill. If he vetoes it, the House and Senate will have an opportunity to override his veto before the General Assembly Session adjourns Sine Die on April 11 at midnight.
More On the Bill
The bill guarantees nearly all Maryland employees the right to up to 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, deal with their own serious health needs, or address needs in connection with military deployment.
Covers nearly all employees in Maryland, regardless of employer size, including full-time and part-time workers and private and public sector workers.
Provides up to 12 weeks off leave (or up to 24 weeks in certain situations) when workers or their loved ones are seriously ill, when welcoming a new child (for parents of any gender, including foster and adoptive parents), or to address the impact of military deployment.
Generally ensures the right of employees to get their job back following leave and keep their health insurance during leave.
Provides benefits through an insurance system that both employers and employees contribute to, ensuring the program is stable, solvent, and affordable for both workers and businesses.
Pays workers on a sliding scale of up to 90% of their income, with lower-income workers receiving the highest portion of their income, up to cap.
Make Time to Care a Reality in Maryland
Learn more about efforts to support Paid Family Leave legislation and get involved by visiting timetocare.net. Maryland Family Network has joined with other organizations to form a coalition determined to make Paid Family Leave a reality in Maryland.