New laws take effect: Maryland marriage age increase, DC paid family leave changes and more

A Maryland law is increasing the legal age for marriage to 17. It’s among several that went into effect in the state and D.C. on Saturday.

The legal age to get married in Maryland has increased by two years. The minimum age used to be 15, and those minors will only be allowed to get hitched if they have the permission of each living parent or guardian. They can also petition a court.

New driving laws are also in effect in Maryland.

If you are driving around in Maryland with your kid and they are under 2 years old, they now have to be in a rear facing car seat. They have to be in that until they reach the height and weight limit for that car seat. You’ll get a written warning the first time you’re pulled over for it.

Also if a driver on a rural interstate is traveling slower than the general speed of traffic, they are now required to be in the right hand lanes.

Maryland’s new move over law is also now in effect. Drivers are required to move over a lane for any emergency vehicle that has stopped on the roadside. The new law expands the rule to any car that and displaying warning signs. If you can’t move over, you are required to slow down.  

Meanwhile in D.C., the family paid leave program for private employees has increased to a combined 12 weeks for taking care of a newborn, dealing with a health condition or caregiving for a sick family member.

Previously, private sector employees could get six weeks of benefits for a serious medical condition, six weeks of benefits for caregiving and eight weeks of benefits for caring for a newborn. Maximum benefits are just over $1,000 a week depending on the employee’s average weekly wage.

To compete with the private sector, a new bill passed its first reading last month. It would hike up city employees’ leave. The additional leave actually begins in 2023 but employees can get retroactive pay for files starting on Oct. 1.

The city will also now ban companies from using noncompete agreements with employees earning less than $150,000 — if you are a licensed physician, it’s $250,000. It makes exceptions for employees that could share confidential info.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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