Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program Study
Overview and Background
During the 2022 legislative session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 275 establishing the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program. The Governor vetoed the legislation, but the General Assembly overrode the veto during the legislative session and the bill became law in April 2022 as Chapter 48.
The FAMLI program generally provides up to 12 weeks of benefits to a covered individual who is taking leave from employment due to caring for certain family members, the individual’s own serious health condition, or a qualifying exigency arising out of a family member’s military deployment. The weekly benefit is based on an individual’s average weekly wage and is indexed to inflation. Required contributions to the program, which are shared between employers and employees, are also based on employee wages. Generally, all employers who employ at least 1 employee must participate in the program, but only employers with 15 or more employees must contribute.
FAMLI will be implemented and administered by the Maryland Department of Labor (MDL), which must create a new program using general funds until monies from required contributions become available; $10 million in general funding has been provided in the fiscal 2023 budget. Contributions to the program are required to begin October 1, 2023, and benefit payments are required to begin January 1, 2025.
Required Program Study
Chapter 48 also requires the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) to contract with a consultant to study and make recommendations regarding the capability and capacity of MDL to implement and administer the FAMLI program, including recommendations regarding additional resources needed by MDL to meet future demands of the program. The legislation requires DLS to report the consultant’s findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by October 1, 2022; however, DLS anticipates two to three additional months being required for the completion of the study.
DLS issued a request for proposals on July 6, 2022, seeking a consultant to conduct the study and make related recommendations. The department is pleased to announce that Spring Consulting Group has been awarded the contract; its study is currently ongoing and expected to conclude in December 2022.