Maryland Employees’ Right to Work Leave After Birth of Child, Adoption
Following the birth or adoption of a child, parents are often eager to spend time around their new bundle of joy, bonding with him or her and taking part in providing care. Fortunately, the federal government and State of Maryland recognizes the importance of this and allows certain employees a period of medical leave. These rights exist under both national and state laws and it is important to understand who is eligible prior to taking leave.
Under the federal Medical Leave Act, employees who are eligible may have up to 12 weeks leave to bond with and care for a new child. To qualify for this leave, workers must have been with the organization for at least one year, have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year and work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
These 12 weeks of leave is available to qualified workers every 12 months. While it is unpaid, employees do retain the right to use accrued paid leave during FMLA leave. In addition, employees may continue to receive their health insurance benefits during this leave under the same arrangement as during full employment, meaning at whatever previous cost to them (if any). Once workers’ leaves are competed, they are usually entitled to full reinstatement to their employment.
In addition to federal leave, Maryland employees also have the right to receive leave benefits for adopted children under state law. In accordance with Maryland law, employees may take time off following the adoption of a child. Additionally, if an employer provides paid medical leave to an employee following the birth of a child, the company must make that same paid leave available to parents who have adopted a child. The Maryland Adoption Leave Law only requires that an employer have at least 15 employees for the law to apply.
The birth or adoption of a child is an exciting time. There are many issues that you must take into consideration and taking time off of work is just one of them. If you have questions or need legal assistance in enforcing your rights to medical leave, speak with a skilled La Plata attorney at Mudd Mudd & Fitzgerald.