Counties Resist Costly Uniform Leave Policy

On February 10, 2022, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the Senate Finance Committee in opposition to SB 275 – Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022). This bill would establish the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program in the Maryland Department of Labor to provide certain benefits to individuals who take leave from employment for certain purposes; establishing the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund as a special, nonlapsing fund; requiring, beginning January 1, 2023, certain employees, employers, and self-employed individuals to contribute to the Fund in a certain manner; etc.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties strive to provide their employees with the most reasonable and practical accommodations, including various forms of paid leave, that make the most sense for the different needs of each county. Under SB 275, counties would be forced to participate in a uniform, one-size-fits-all program that does not consider the unique needs or abilities of each county. Under the bill, all counties would have no choice but to fund mandated employer contributions — competing for limited local funds against school construction, public safety, roadway maintenance, and other essential public services. Also concerning is the potential for employer contribution rates for this proposed program to eventually increase to maintain fund solvency, as more employees take advantage of this benefit and its funding obligations grow.

MACo plans to testify on the bill’s crossfile, HB 8, on February 15, 2022.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.