Maryland Paid Family & Medical Leave (MD PFML)
Maryland's mandated Paid Family and Medical Leave (MD PFML) program will provide job protected leave and wage replacement benefits.
Maryland legislature recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 828, which modifies the state’s upcoming PFML program. Among other changes, SB 828 delays the start date for PFML contributions from October 1, 2023, to October 1, 2024 and delays the start date when employees can begin applying for benefits from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2026.
Starting January 1, 2026, eligible MD workers will have access to paid medical leave (PML) if they are unable to work due to injury or illness, including pregnancy and childbirth or for paid family leave (PFL) to bond with a new child, to address a military exigency and to care for a seriously ill family member (including a military caregiver).
The state will be developing their own program and adopt regulations to support the law. Like the other states under development, MetLife will be actively engaged throughout this process to ensure our customers’ needs are considered during this development process.
Coverage Options: Employers will be able to participate in the state-run program or they can self-insure or fully insure a private employer plan.
Job Protection: The MD PFML coverage is job protected; however, an employer may terminate an employee’s employment and deny job restoration for cause. When applicable, leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will run concurrently.
- 12 weeks for family leave and paid medical leave for the following qualifying events:
- An employee’s serious health condition
- Child bonding during the first year after the child's birth or after the placement through foster care, kinship care, or adoption
- Caring for a family member with a serious health condition
- Caring for a service member who is the employee's next of kin
- A qualifying exigency for both onshore and overseas deployments
- An additional 12 weeks may be available if an employee takes bonding leave and later in the same application year needs leave to care for their own serious health condition, or vice versa.
- Benefit Formula: If an employee's average weekly wage ("AWW") is 65% or less of the state average weekly wage ("SAWW"), the benefit is 90% of the AWW. If an employee's AWW is greater than 65% of the SAWW, the benefit is the sum of the above and 50% of the employee's AWW that is greater than 65% of the SAWW.
- Weekly benefit minimum/maximum: In 2025, the minimum benefit will be $50 and maximum benefit will be $1,000.
Contributions for the state program are being defined by the Secretary of Labor. The law contemplates that both employees and employers will contribute to the state program.
- October 1, 2024: Contributions begin
- January 1, 2026: Benefits start
As of October 5, 2023