Maryland Strikes to Revise Paid Household and Medical Depart Insurance coverage Program Implementation Dates, Elevate State Minimal Wage | Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Maryland’s 2023 legislative session has concluded with new laws impacting Maryland employers. Governor Wes Moore (D) has already signed into regulation the Honest Wage Act of 2023, accelerating the minimal wage price in Maryland to $15 per hour, efficient January 1, 2024. The Maryland Common Meeting has additionally handed modifications to Maryland’s Household and Medical Depart Program, which presently awaits the governor’s signature.
Modifications to Maryland’s Paid Household and Medical Depart Insurance coverage Program
The Maryland Common Meeting just lately handed Senate Bill (SB) 828modifying a number of provisions of Maryland’s Household and Medical Depart Insurance coverage (FAMLI) program established by the Time to Care Act in 2022.
Importantly, SB 828 pushes again a number of dates governing the implementation of the Time to Care Act. The date for coated employers—these with fifteen or extra staff—to start contributing to this system has been delayed from October 1, 2023, till October 1, 2024. SB0828 additionally delays implementation of the date when staff can submit claims for advantages from January 1, 2025, till January 1, 2026. Regardless of these modifications, the Maryland secretary of labor shall be required to set the full price of contribution for employers and staff on or about October 1, 2023. This price shall be in impact from October 1, 2024, till June 30, 2026. This price could not exceed 1.2 % of an worker’s wages.
SB 828 additionally makes modifications to the cost-sharing method for funding advantages underneath the FAMLI fund. The 2022 Time to Care Act initially contemplated a twin cost-sharing method that break up contributions between employers and staff on a 75-to-25 % foundation however allowed the occasion bearing the 75 % burden to fluctuate between the employer and the worker as decided by a biennial research by the Maryland Division of Labor. SB 828 does away with the prior technique in favor of setting the cost-sharing method at a 50-50 break up: employers contributing 50 % of the full price of contribution for every coated worker and coated staff contributing the opposite 50 %.
SB 828 additionally updates the Time to Care Act’s definitions to incorporate home companions as coated “member of the family(s)” and broaden the qualifying causes for which people could apply for FAMLI advantages. The explanations embrace taking time to look after or bond with a baby “throughout the first yr after the kid’s beginning,” in addition to the identical period of time off for people adopting or fostering a baby. Moreover, staff could use advantages “to look after a member of the family with a severe well being situation,” “to take care of a severe well being situation that ends in the coated particular person being unable to carry out the features of the coated particular person’s place,” “to look after a service member with a severe well being situation ensuing from navy service who’s the coated particular person’s subsequent of kin,” or “to take care of a qualifying exigency arising out of the deployment of a service member who’s a member of the family.”
The invoice additionally permits people higher flexibility with respect to once they can apply for FAMLI advantages. It permits staff to file functions for advantages sixty days earlier than the anticipated begin date of a go away and as much as sixty days after the beginning date of a go away. Notably, the invoice modifies the 2022 regulation, in order that it now not requires staff to exhaust or use paid trip, sick go away, or different paid day without work offered underneath their employers’ insurance policies earlier than or whereas receiving FAMLI advantages. Nonetheless, employers could require that FAMLI advantages be coordinated with different advantages or go away. A coated particular person and an employer could agree to make use of paid go away and FAMLI advantages to interchange as much as one hundred pc of the coated particular person’s common weekly wage throughout the FAMLI go away interval.
SB 828 additionally cut back the specificity required in go away certifications that people might want to present to help FAMLI go away advantages. Whereas people should specify whether or not their go away shall be taken constantly or intermittently, they now not want to offer a press release certifying they’re present process a “severe well being situation.” As a substitute, they want solely certify that they’re “unable to carry out the features” of their positions. SB 828 doesn’t have an effect on the requirement that people should present employers at the very least thirty days’ advance written discover of their intention to take go away.
Maryland employers are awaiting FAMLI laws which can be anticipated to be introduced by the Maryland Division of Labor and Business on or about June 1, 2023.
Acceleration of Will increase to Maryland’s Minimal Wage
On April 11, 2023, Governor Moore signed into regulation SB 555the Honest Wage Act of 2023. The Honest Wage Act repeals Maryland’s annual state minimal wage will increase that had been primarily based on employer measurement and modifications to the Shopper Worth Index scheduled for 2025 and 2026. As a substitute, the Honest Wage Act mandates a uniform $15 hourly minimal wage for all employers, efficient as of January 1, 2024accelerating by two years the beginning date requiring all Maryland employers to pay $15 per hour.
Maryland employers might also wish to word minimal wage developments on the county stage. On July 1, 2023, Montgomery County’s hourly minimal wage charges will enhance in step with the county’s 2017 Bill No. 28-17 to the next ranges:
- Giant employers (greater than 50 staff): $16.70
- Mid-sized employers (11–50 staff): $15.00
- Small employers (10 or fewer staff): $14.50
Each Montgomery County and the state of Maryland have issued new minimal wage and extra time posters to replicate the minimal wage charges as of January 1, 2023. Maryland employers could wish to be sure that their payroll methods and postings are updated to anticipate these new hourly minimal wage charges.
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