Beginning October 1, employers with 15 or more employees in Maryland will be required to provide eligible employees with up to 60 business days of unpaid job-protected leave (in any 12-month period) to serve as an organ donor, and up to 30 business days of unpaid job-protected leave (in any 12-month period) to serve as a bone marrow donor (Organ Donation Leave).
In order for an employee to be eligible, they must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months prior to the leave. Prior to taking the leave, employers can require an employee to provide written documentation from their doctor stating that the employee is an organ or bone marrow donor, and that there is a medical necessity for the donation of the organ or bone marrow.
Organ Donation Leave cannot be taken concurrently with leave under the Federal and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Organ Donation leave will only be available after FMLA Leave has been exhausted, or when an employee is not FMLA-eligible. Therefore, if an employee is eligible for leave under the FMLA, then the leave taken must be designated as FMLA Leave.
Like employees who take FMLA Leave, an employee is entitled to continued coverage under their group health plan. Additionally, upon return from Organ Donation Leave, an employee is entitled to be restored to his or her former position, or a position with equivalent pay and benefits.
Employers may not retaliate against an employee for exercising their rights related to taking Organ Donation Leave.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact one of our HR Consultants at 888-622-6460.