Maryland Leave Laws

January 8th 2024

Recognizing the significance of employee welfare and the promotion of a thriving work environment, the value of taking time away from work cannot be overstated.

In the US, each state has its own set of regulations to determine whether specific leaves are legally mandated.

The aim of this article is to examine the legal obligations regarding leave in Maryland and the various available options for employees.

It should be noted that there might be distinct regulations applicable to employers in the public and private sectors.

In Maryland, leave days are classified into mandatory and non-mandatory categories, each with its own specific guidelines and requirements.

This Article Covers

Maryland Required Leave
Maryland Non-Required Leave

Maryland Required Leave

Maryland employers are mandated by law to provide their employees with certain types of leave. These include the following:

1. Sick and Family Leave –

  • Eligibility: Maryland non-exempt employees.
    It’s important to note that employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave, but those with 14 or fewer employees are not obligated to pay for sick leave.
  • Duration: For every 30 hours worked, non-exempt employees can earn 1 hour of sick or family leave, and up to 40 hours per year can be accrued.
    Up to 12 weeks of partially paid sick leave and up to 24 weeks of paid leave for new eligible parent employees, under the Time to Care Act, which will go into effect in Maryland in October 2023.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For a variety of reasons, including injury or illness of oneself or a family member, preventative medical care, and parental leave.

2. Jury Duty Leave –

  • Eligibility: Employees called for jury duty
    This protection applies to any lost work time, as well as to any work employees must refrain from in order to fulfill their civic responsibility.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To serve on a jury or when subpoenaed as a witness.

3. Voting Time Leave –

  • Eligibility: Registered voter employees.
    However, employees must show proof of voting by filling out a form that has been determined by the State Board.
  • Duration: Two hours of paid time off during elections.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To vote in any local, regional, state or comparable election.

4. Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave –

  • Eligibility: Employees and their immediate family members who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, or stalking.
  • Duration: Earned sick leave for the scheduled and expected duration of the medical and legal proceedings.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For various purposes, including medical attention, accessing protective services, legal proceedings, and settling matters related to temporary relocation due to abuse.

5. Emergency Response Leave –

  • Eligibility: State employees who are involved with organizations such as the Civil Air Patrol, Civil Defense, volunteer fire departments, or rescue squads for emergency response purposes.
  • Duration: Up to 15 days of leave per year, as long as eligible employees have certification from the American Red Cross and the organization requests their assistance during a Level 2 or higher disaster.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: During emergencies declared by the Governor.

6. Organ and Bone Donation Leave –

  • Eligibility: Private and state employees.
  • Duration: Up to 30 days of leave for state employees who are donating organs while those donating bone marrow may take up to 7 days of unpaid leave.
    Up to 60 days of unpaid leave to private employees who are donating organs. For those donating bone marrow, the company is required to provide up to 30 days of unpaid leave.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For organ and bone marrow donation.

7. Military Leave –

  • Eligibility: Employees who are members of a reserve unit or organized militia who are deployed themselves.
    When a family member of the employee is being deployed in the military, eligibility for the leave includes employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months if their workplace has 50 or more employees.
  • Duration: 15 days of paid leave.
    A day off on the day of an employee’s immediate family member’s deployment if their workplace has 50 or more employees.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For deployment or military training.

Maryland Non-Required Leave

While Maryland ensures mandatory leave provisions to protect the rights of employees, there are certain leave types that are not legally mandated.

1. Bereavement Leave –

If an employer has 15 or more employees, they are obligated to provide paid bereavement leave. However, in such cases where an employee requires bereavement leave, they may only use the days they have accrued.

2. Vacation Leave –

When it comes to taking paid vacations in Maryland, it’s important to know that employers aren’t legally required to provide them. However, if a company decides to offer paid leave, it must do so in accordance with its established policies.

3. Holiday Leave

Employers in the private sector are not obligated to grant their employees any days off for holidays, whether they are paid or not.

Conversely, those who are employed by the state are entitled to 11 days of paid holidays every year.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Maryland, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Maryland, and your rights as an hourly employee in Maryland. You can also learn more about Maryland Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.