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.
After years of work culminating in a veto override on the final weekend of Session, Maryland became the tenth state (plus the District of Columbia) to establish paid family and medical leave. HB 496 / SB 275 “Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022)” will create an insurance fund to provide partial wage replacement for workers taking time away from jobs to care for new babies, loved ones with serious health conditions or disabilities, or themselves.
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.
MFN's Paid Family Leave Advocacy in the media
Gov. Wes Moore releases $69M in Funds for Abortion Training, Other Maryland Legislative Priorities (Baltimore Sun)
Maryland Paid Family, Medical Leave Bill Heads to Governor's Desk (Baltimore Business Journal)
Lawmakers Send Statewide Paid Leave Bill to Governor (Maryland Matters)
Buoyed by pandemic-era concerns, paid leave plan passes legislature (Washington Post)
Maryland paid family leave program bill passed to governor. Will he veto it? (Baltimore Sun)
Paid Family Medical Leave Getting a New Look in This Year's Legislative Session (Maryland Matters)
America (including Maryland) needs a sensible paid family leave policy (Letter to the Editor by MFN Board Member Kesha-Simone Jones)
Md. paid family leave bill provides economic security for caregivers (Op-ed by MFN’s Executive Director Margaret E. Williams, Baltimore Sun)
Paid family leave: a much-needed safety net (Editorial, Baltimore Sun)
Paid leave program could help employers (Letter to the Editor, Baltimore Sun)
Tonight’s Top Stories, Time to Care begins at 2:48 (Prince George’s Community Television)