Be in the Know: New Rules on Leave

Maryland requires paid medical leave (PML) and paid family leave (PFL) income replacement benefits for eligible workers who need time off from work for qualifying reasons.

Coverage and cost

Learn more about your state rules and eligibility.

Covered employers

All employers employing at least one individual in the state of Maryland are covered except for self-employed individuals.

Coverage options

Employers may use the state or a private plan. The Maryland Department of Labor must approve private plans.


  • 0.9% of employee wages up to the annual Social Security maximum wage base (adjusting to $168,600 for 2024).
  • Employer and and employees contributions are split evenly at .45% each. Employers may make contributions on an employees behalf.
  • Employers employing fewer than 15 employees are not required to pay the employer contribution.

Employee eligibility

An employee must have worked a minimum of 680 hours in the 12-month period immediately prior to the date leave begins. Self-employed individuals may elect to participate in the program.

Leave reasons

Caring for a family member, bonding, medical, qualifying exigency and caring for a service member.

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Job protection

Requires continuation of health insurance benefits, and with limited exceptions, reinstatement to equivalent position.

Other protections and provisions

Intermittent leave must be taken in increments no less than 4 hours.

Leave runs concurrently with FMLA leave, but employees generally cannot be required to exhaust paid leave under paid vacation, paid sick leave, or paid time off policies prior to or while receiving PFML benefits. Employers can coordinate PFML benefits with other leave policies, such as parental, family care, military leave or disability policies.


Employees receive up to 90% of their average weekly wage on a sliding scale. 2026 maximum weekly benefit = $1,000.

12 weeks of paid leave per benefit year. In limited circumstances, may be eligible for an additional 12 weeks if employee's own serious health condition and bonding occur in the benefit year.

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Timeline and key dates

  • October 1, 2024: contributions for the program begins.
  • January 1, 2026: benefits will become available to employees.

Need more information?

Visit Maryland's website for additional details.

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How Unum can help

Unum will offer our clients both fully insured and self-insured solutions. We will also offer STD products to provide supplemental coverage that integrates seamlessly with our private plan or the state-run program.

Still looking for more information?

Check out our latest in leave content, and explore the State PFML Guide and our Leave Toolkit.

Have questions?

Reach out to our sales team to learn more about Unum’s state PFML and absence management solutions.

The information provided is not legal advice and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice. This is intended for general information purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Please consult your own legal advisors to determine how these laws affect you. This information is based on current laws and regulations that are subject to change.