Why Maryland Needs Paid Family Leave

June 30, 2021

Nine states and Washington D.C. currently have paid family leave laws on the books, but there is no federal paid family leave policy.

Most Marylanders agree that paid family leave is essential but big business lobbyists are putting up a fight to keep their profits high and benefits for their workers minimal.

In May 2021, advocates and members of the Maryland legislature held a telephone town hall to discuss the issue.

Q&A: Paid Family Leave in Maryland

Ruth Martin

Ruth Martin,

Maryland Delegate Edith Patterson

MD Delegate Edith Patterson

Maryland Delegate CT Wilson

MD Delegate
CT Wilson

Maryland Senator Arthur Ellis

MD State Senator Arthur Ellis

Myles Hicks

Myles Hicks,
Time to Care Coalition

Delegate Debra M. Davis

MD Delegate Debra M. Davis

This Q&A was excerpted from a State Innovation Exchange telephone town hall that took place on May 18, 2021. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

88% of Maryland voters favor creating a family and medical leave insurance program.

What Marylanders Are Saying

The quotes below are from participants who phoned into the town hall meeting.

"I work in D.C., but I'm a Maryland resident and have been for over 40 years. I'm at home now on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) because my 24-year-old son had COVID and came out of the hospital grossly debilitated. So I had to take FMLA to take care of him. 

Fortunately, I have been working for a long time, and I have financial resources available to sustain me and utilized some of the COVID relief options. Had it not been for [that], this would have been a very financially traumatic experience for my family. And it was already emotionally traumatic."

Town Hall Participant

"I understand that we expect people to be fiscally responsible and save. However, I also believe that an employee is giving his or her time and energy so that the company can be prosperous and realize its goals.

And while that employee makes that investment in that company, I'd like to think that employers would demonstrate that they value the worth of their employees by being willing to invest in that employee in their moment of need, with family paid time. In other words, a mutually beneficial employer-employee relationship, where each gives their best for the well-being of the other."

Town Hall Participant

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