What are the biggest 2023 employment law updates for Maryland?
Read on to learn about recent 2023 Maryland employment law updates for employers and employees.
The biggest 2023 Maryland employment law changes relate to the Maryland Paid Family and Medical Leave program, for which employers will have obligations starting in 2024.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates – Maryland
Does Maryland Provide Paid Family and Medical Leave?
Yes, the Division of Family Medical Leave Insurance within the Maryland Department of Labor will administer the state’s paid family and medical leave program to Maryland employees, and employees are anticipated to start receiving benefits in 2026. All Maryland employers must provide their employees with this leave.
Maryland employers may also opt for a self-administered plan that provides their employees with benefits equal to or greater than those offered by Maryland. If approved by Maryland’s Department of Labor, employers with private plans will not need to contribute to the Maryland program, but they cannot charge employees a contribution rate higher in a private plan than in the Maryland program.
In 2022, Maryland passed the Time to Care Act, which established a paid family and medical leave program, similar to Washington, DC’s paid family and medical leave program.
What Does Maryland’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program Cover?
Maryland’s paid family and medical leave program will allow employees to submit claims for paid benefits for:
In 2023, Maryland passed legislation that modified parts of the program and delayed implementation dates. Now, employers with 15+ employees and all employees must begin making contributions to the paid leave program by October 1, 2024 (rather than October 1, 2023). The contribution rate will be 0.09-percent of an employee’s covered wages, with a ceiling that matches the Social Security tax limit.
How Much Leave Can Employees Take Under the Maryland Paid Family and Medical Leave Program?
Generally, employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave annually (or up to 24 weeks in certain instances). Paid leave will run concurrently with federal Family Medical Leave Act leave, but employees need not exhaust paid time off before or while receiving benefits. It is anticipated that Maryland will issue regulations providing employers with more guidance on implementation in early 2024.
Non-Compete Agreement Laws – Maryland
What are the Wage Requirements for Non-Compete Agreements in Maryland?
Like Virginia, Maryland prohibits employers from placing non-competition restrictions on “low-wage employees.”
From October 1, 2023, through January 1, 2024, non-competition agreements between Maryland employers and employees making less than $41,350 annually are unenforceable.
Starting January 1, 2024, such agreements with employees making less than $49,920 annually are unenforceable.
If you are a Maryland employer or a Maryland employee needing assistance with Maryland employment law issues, Lipp Law can help. Contact Lipp Law today to ensure legal compliance with Maryland employment laws.
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