PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

Maryland State

Whoever withholds an employee’s wages, it is as though he has taken the person’s life from her.

– Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia 112a 

Nobody should have to choose between their job and caring for their family. Nearly everyone needs time away from work at some point to care for a relative, deal with a serious personal illness, or welcome a baby, but many Marylanders can’t afford to take unpaid leave. Rabbi Hillel teaches us that we can’t separate ourselves from our community; we all have a responsibility for each other’s wellbeing and care. We must make sure that all people can take time to be with their families and attend to their own health.

Who’s Impacted:

  • All Marylanders who work and who need time to care for relatives or themselves, especially new parents, people with chronic conditions, families of military personnel, low-income and part-time workers, small business employees, and self-employed people. Black and Latinx communities are disproportionately unable to take time off to care for themselves or family members.

Key Committees:

  • Senate Finance (FIN), Chair: Delores Kelley (Baltimore County)
  • House Economic Matters (ECM), Chair: Dereck Davis (Prince George’s County)

Legislative Details: 

  • The Time to Care Act (HB0375/SB211) would have established a Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program through which employees may take up to 12 weeks of paid leave from work to care for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child; to provide care to themselves or family members with serious health or medical conditions; or to address needs resulting from a military family member’s deployment. The program’s funding would come from employees and employers each making a 0.75% mandatory contribution from each paycheck. Lost wages are not replaced dollar for dollar, but lower wage workers would receive a higher percentage of their income. The bills sponsors were Senator Antonio Hayes (Baltimore City) and Delegate Kris Valderrama (Prince George’s County). This bill did not pass in the 2021 legislative session.

Key Partners: Time to Care Coalition, AARP, Maryland Family NetworkSEIU, Catholic Charities, Job Opportunities Task Force

Additional Legislative Positions:

In addition to JUFJ’s key legislative priorities this session, we took positions on other legislation related to Labor Justice:

  • We SUPPORTED the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (HB581/SB486)
  • We SUPPORTED the Maryland Community College Employees Freedom to Collectively Bargain Act of 2021 (HB894/SB746)

We also took a position on a number of Fair Funding bills, because budgets are a moral document and we must invest in programs that will address longstanding inequities and the current COVID-19 crisis. 

  • We SUPPORTED restoring the millionaire estate tax (HB165)
  • We SUPPORTED combined reporting for corporations (HB172)
  • We SUPPORTED offsetting special treatment for capital gains (HB201)
  • We SUPPORTED taxing investment manager income equally through carried interest (HB215/SB288)
  • We SUPPORTED enacting the throwback rule (HB229)
  • We SUPPORTED eliminating the state level Opportunity Zone tax credits (HB262/SB113)
  • We SUPPORTED income tax reform (HB275)
  • We SUPPORTED closing the LLC loophole (HB357)

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