Effective October 1, 2021, the Maryland Flexible Leave Act (“MFLA”) has been amended to authorize employees to use paid leave for bereavement leave upon the death of an immediate family member. Under the MFLA “bereavement leave” is defined as leave “an employee is allowed to use on the death of a member of the employee’s immediate family.” It is important to note that MFLA does not add a new “bucket” of paid leave available to employees, but only allows employees to now use previously earned paid sick leave, vacation leave, paid time off, or compensatory time as bereavement leave. Employers are not obligated to advance employees unearned paid leave for use as bereavement leave under the MFLA. Further, the right to utilize bereavement leave under the MFLA is limited to circumstances where the employee has experienced the death of an immediate family member which is defined to include a child, parent, or spouse. The MFLA does not contain any limitation on the amount of bereavement leave an employee may utilize. Finally, the MFLA’s requirements are only applicable to employers with 15 or more employees.
If you have questions about the application of these new provisions of the MFLA or require assistance in amending existing leave policies to ensure compliance, Pessin Katz Law has attorneys experienced in employment law ready to help. Ensuring compliance with these new provisions is critical to avoiding the substantial cost associated with administrative enforcement actions.
Mr. Burkhouse is a Member with PK Law and is part of the firm’s Education, Labor and Employment Group. As part of Mr. Burkhouse’s employment law practice he counsels and represents employers regarding employment discrimination claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Mr. Burkhouse also advises employers with regard to non-compete agreements, restrictive covenants, arbitration agreements, trade secrets, confidentiality agreements, and employee hiring and termination procedures. Mr. Burkhouse can be reached at (410) 740-3150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.