Maryland Maternity and Pregnancy laws & HR compliance analysis

Maryland Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.
As a general rule (and with the exception of reasonable accommodation), female employees affected by pregnancy must be treated the same for all employment-related purposes—including receipt of benefits under employee benefit programs, accrual of seniority, and other benefits and privileges—as employees with other types of temporary disabilities.
The Act covers employers with 15 or more employees (MD Code Art. 49B Sec. 17).
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Maryland does not have a state law that specifically requires employers to offer pregnancy leave.
However, employers covered by the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) must provide the same leave benefits to female employees disabled by pregnancy as are provided to other employees with temporary disabilities, and must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy.
Employers must explore all possible means of reasonably accommodating a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy if an employee requests a reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
State law also requires an employer to transfer an employee to a less strenuous or less hazardous position for a specified period of time, in some circumstances, if the employee requests the transfer. Employers must post information on these rights in a conspicuous location and include it in any employee handbook (MD Code State Govt. Sec. 20-609, Sec. 20-601).
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