Media Type: Alert
Effective October 1, 2014, employers in Maryland with at least 15 but no more than 49 employees, will be required to provide employees with unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child under the new Parental Leave Act (“Act”). The Act provides eligible employees (those who have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during that period) with six weeks of unpaid parental leave during any 12-month period for the birth of the employee’s child or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care. At the conclusion of such leave, the employee must be restored to his or her previous position or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
Covered employers should review and revise their policies and practices to ensure compliance. This would include developing a written policy to include in the Employee Handbook, as well as forms to document leave requests, train and educate staff who oversee human resource functions, and review and revise existing policies that may conflict with the Act.
Larger employers with 50 or more employees are subject to existing federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, under which eligible employees, as similarly defined, are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under like circumstances as well as to attend to one’s own health or that of a spouse, child or parent.
If we can assist you in complying with this new law (or any other employment matter), please contact one of the attorneys in our employment law department at 301-340-2020.
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