Maryland Leave Laws


Vacation Leave

In Maryland, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. The Maryland Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the employer has informed its employees in writing leave will not be paid. MD Statute, Labor and Employment, 3-505(b)

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as employees have been informed of the policy in writing. See MD Statute, Labor and Employment, 3-505(b)

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. The Maryland Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. The Maryland Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees have been informed of the policy in writing and meets all other legal requirements. See MD Statute, Labor and Employment, 3-505(b)

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as employees have been informed of the policy in writing and meets all other legal requirements. See MD Statute, Labor and Employment, 3-505(b)


Sick Leave

Maryland law requires certain employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide paid sick leave. Employers with 14 or fewer employees must provide unpaid sick leave. For more information, visit our Maryland Sick and Safe Leave page.

Additionally, an employer in Maryland may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.


Holiday Leave

Maryland law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. Maryland Div. of Labor & Industry FAQ In Maryland, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in the retail industry is required to grant an employee an unpaid religious day once per week upon written request by the employee. Maryland Div. of Labor & Industry FAQ.

State holidays

Visit our Maryland State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Maryland as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.


Jury Duty Leave

An employer is not required to pay an employee for responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.

An employer may not discharge, penalize, threaten, or otherwise coerce an employee who receives and/or responds to a jury summons or who serves on a jury. MD Statute, Courts and Judicial Proceedings 8-501


Voting Leave

Maryland law requires employers to permit employees to take two (2) hours of paid leave to vote, so long as the employee does not have two (2) hours of continuous off-duty time while the polls are open. Employees may be required to show their employer proof that they voted. MD Statute, Election Article 10-315


Bereavement Leave

Maryland law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.


Maryland Family and Medical Leave

Besides the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Maryland has its own state medical leave and family leave laws that apply to most medium-sized and smaller employers. Some businesses may be covered by both Maryland state laws and the FMLA. There is also a family military leave policy that larger employers must adhere to.

The Parental Leave Act

Maryland has its own PLA (parental leave act). Any place of business with between 15 and 49 workers must give all eligible employees up to six nonpaid workweeks of parental leave in one year for the placement of a foster child, adoption of a child, or the birth of a child. Once this leave is over, these workers are eligible for reinstatement into their same or equivalent position.

The Adoption Leave Law

Any employer in Maryland is not required to provide paid parental leave. However, if an employer provides paid parental leave after the birth of a child, Maryland law states these same provisions must be available for parents of adopted children.

The Flexible Leave Act

The FLA is a Maryland law that states that employers with at least 15 employees may provide paid leave to take care of a close family member who is extremely ill. In addition, paid time off may be taken to grieve an immediate family member who has died. However, the nuance is that this does not require employers who provide paid leave, but employers must allow their employers to take paid leave if they have it available. Moreover, any worker who has several types of paid leave available may choose the type to use under this circumstance.

Family Military Leave

Maryland also has its own laws, which say that any employer with a minimum of 50 employees must provide a covered day off if a close family member returns from or leaves for active military service outside the country.

The Federal FMLA

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act also applies to all workers in Maryland. For large enough companies and eligible employees s, up to 12 weeks of time off may be allowed for various reasons related to family and medical issues.


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