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Maryland Leave Law


In addition to rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), public employees n Maryland have rights under a leave law. Below is a brief overview of this program.

If you are considering taking leave, consider consulting with your Human Resource Office for additional details.

Who Is Eligible To Participate In The Program?

All employees in the State personnel management system (except temporary employees) may voluntarily participate in the leave donation program. In addition, units of the State Executive, Judicial or Legislative branches may allow their employees to participate in the program.

How Do I Volunteer For The Leave Donation Program?

The State maintains a "leave bank," which consists of donated leave and any forfeited annual, personal or sick leave of state employees. You will be a member of the leave bank for 2 years from the date that you: (1) voluntarily donate at least 8 hours of annual, personal or sick leave, or (2) forfeit at least 8 hours of annual, personal or sick leave. 

When Am I Eligible To Use Leave?

In order for a leave request to be granted:

  1. You must have exhausted all other forms of annual, personal or sick leave due to a prolonged medical condition;
  2. You must have provided a certificate of illness or disability; and
  3. You must be a member of the leave bank or receive an exemption from the Secretary for good cause. 

What Can I Use Leave For?

You may use leave due to:

  1. Your own illness or disability due to an existing medical condition, or
  2. To provide care for an immediate family member with a catastrophic illness or injury. 

What Is A Catastrophic Illness or Injury?

"Catastrophic illness or injury" means a condition that is incapacitating or life threatening (based on the certification of a health care provider).

Who Is An Immediate Family Member?

An immediate family member includes your spouse, children (including foster or stepchildren), parents, stepparents, foster parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren.

How Much Leave Can I Use? 

You may receive up to a total of 2,080 hours of leave from the leave bank. However, you may not be on leave for a continuous period that exceeds 16 months (that includes leave bank time combined with all other forms of paid leave).

Can I Donate Leave To Another Employee?

You may donate any unused annual, sick or personal leave to another employee who has exhausted all of their leave because they have a serious and prolonged medical condition or because of a catastrophic illness or injury of an immediate family member.

What Happens To My Benefits While On Leave?

You will continue to receive subsidized health benefits at the same rate as when you are on the job.

Researched and written by:

Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY 

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