Do I Qualify for Leave from My Job During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on March 26, 2020 and updated on February 28, 2023.

leave of absense formWhether you are caring for a family member or fall ill yourself, Maryland workers may wonder if they will receive any paid leave for time off due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The team at the Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl explain the state’s current paid leave law and the new Act put in place by the federal government to offer benefits to certain employees during this crisis. If you have questions about leave, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Maryland’s Paid Leave Rules

Maryland employers must offer paid leave to employees for any of the following reasons:

  • Care and/or treatment of the employee’s physical or mental injury, illness or condition
  • Obtaining preventive medical care for the employee or employee’s family member
  • Caring for a family member who suffers a physical or mental injury, illness or condition
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Work absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking while an employee relocates, or to obtain medical or mental health services, victims services or legal services for the employee or the employee’s family member

The state’s paid leave law covers all employers, although those with less than 15 employees only have to give unpaid time off for the above purposes. All employees are covered by the law except for:

  • Employees who work fewer than 12 hours regularly
  • Construction employees covered by collective bargaining agreements that waive rights for leave under this law
  • As-needed health and human services employees, if they are allowed to reject employer-offered shifts, non-guaranteed work, not employed by a staffing agency
  • Independent contractors
  • Licensed real estate agents and brokers
  • Employees under age 18 at the beginning of 2020
  • Agricultural employees who process, harvest or market products for farmers
  • Temporary staffing employees
  • Employment agency employees who give part-time or temporary services to other people

Paid Leave to Workers for Coronavirus-Related Reasons

The president recently signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides paid leave benefits to workers stuck at home because of the coronavirus outbreak. It gives two weeks of sick leave, paid at 100 percent of the worker’s regular salary up to $511 a day.

The Act also offers up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, paid at 67 percent of the worker’s regular salary, and up to $200 a day for parents who must stay home to care for children if the child’s school is closed.

A tax credit will be given to businesses in order to cover the costs associated with offering leave due to coronavirus. Self-employed individuals and gig workers can also receive tax credit benefits. Government employers must provide paid sick leave and family leave benefits to workers.

This Act applies to small and medium-sized businesses, though those with under 50 employees may be considered exempt if paying the benefits would harm the business’s viability, as well as health care providers.

Unfortunately, the law does not mention large companies with over 500 employees, though many of these companies already offer paid leave benefits. However, many large employers have announced they are offering special paid leave policies in light of the coronavirus outbreak to assist employees who are dealing with the repercussions of being off work due to the virus.

Reach Out by Phone or Email Today

If your job has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, our legal team at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl are here to help. Request a free consultation to get started – we are handling all claims remotely at this time.

There are no upfront fees for our services should our firm represent you. We work on contingency, so you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

Have questions? Contact us by phone at 410-244-7005 or email us today.