Beginning October 1, 2014, all Maryland businesses with 15-49 employees will be required to provide six weeks of unpaid leave to an employee upon the birth of their child or the placement of an adopted or foster care child. This new law requires that the employer hold the employee’s job and benefits for up to six weeks or return the employee to an “equivalent position” when the employee returns within the six week leave period. Premiums for benefits may be recovered by the employer if the employee fails to return to work after the leave ends
This new Maryland law is geared to providing employees who work for smaller employers with a watered-down version of federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under FMLA employers with 50 or more employees must offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a medical condition or to provide care for a family member with a medical condition. .
Employers may want to draft policy and take necessary steps to comply with the new law.
Only nine Marylanders have signed up for temporary, retroactive health insurance made possible by emergency legislation aimed at helping people who tried to get coverage through the state’s faulty online health insurance marketplace, encountered problems and were stuck with medical bills to pay.
Two months ago, state officials predicted that as many as 5,000 people might need the help, which would have cost the state millions of dollars. Since then, the four health insurance companies participating in the state exchange offered their own retroactive insurance, helping about 300 households — and turning the state’s option into a last-resort for special cases.