Statutory Update: OR PFML Contribution Rate; July 1 Reminders; AL Adoption Leave Update; West Hollywood Paid Leave Regulations

June 10, 2022

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates

Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave (OR PFML) – 2023 Contribution Rate

Last month the Oregon Employment Department (OED) announced that the contribution rate for OR PFML beginning January 1, 2023, will be 1% of employees’ wages (the law itself indicated that the rate was “not to exceed” 1%). 

  • The maximum wages subject to contribution will be $132,900.
  • Of the total rate employers will contribute 40% and employees will contribute 60%.
  • Employers with fewer than 25 employees nationwide are not required to pay the employer portion of the contribution.
  • Employers may elect to pay the required employee contributions, in whole or in part, as an employer-offered benefit.
  • More information may be found on the OED’s Contributions Fact Sheet.
July 1, 2022 Reminders
  1. Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave (CT PFML)
    • CT PFML and CT FMLA Notice Requirement Begins
      • Beginning July 1, 2022, employers must at the time of hiring, and annually thereafter, provide written notice to each employee (1) of the entitlement to family and medical leave under CT FMLA and the terms under which such leave may be used; (2) of the opportunity to file a claim for compensation under CT PFML; (3) that retaliation by the employer against the employee for requesting, applying for or using family and medical leave for which the employee is eligible is prohibited; and (4) that the employee has a right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner for any violation of either law’s requirements.
      • The CT DOL has posted a model Employer’s Written Notice of Employee’s Rights template to satisfy this notice requirement on its website. Employers may create their own notice; however, it must contain the information required by regulations.
    • CT PFML Maximum Benefit Amount will increase July 1, from $780 per week to $840 per week, in accordance with the state’s minimum wage increase from $13/hour to $14/hour.
  2. District of Columbia Paid Family and Medical Leave (DC PFML) Rate Decrease
    • Effective July 1 the employer contribution rate for DC PFML will decrease from 0.62% to 0.26% of wages.
  3. Rhode Island Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Temporary Caregiver Insurance (RI TCI) Weekly Benefit Amount
    • The RI Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) typically releases the maximum weekly benefit amount on or around July 1.
  4. Laws Becoming Effective July 1
    • Alabama Adoption Promotion Act
        • See our May 12 Update for details.
        • Note: According to guidance we have obtained from legal resources, “paid leave” would include benefits provided under an employer’s Short Term Disability program. This means that, even if an employer does not sponsor a separate paid leave policy for bonding, but does offer STD benefits for childbirth and recovery, they must provide paid leave to an employee who adopts a child. This update has been added to the May 12 blog post.
    • West Hollywood, CA Accrued Leave
        • The law became effective for hotel employers January 1, 2022, and applies to all other employers effective July 1; see our December 3, 2021 Statutory Update for more details.
        • Updates:
          • On May 16 the City Council approved Ordinance No. 22-1180, making the following amendments to the original law effective June 15:
            • Removed the requirement that, once an employee reaches 192 hours of paid leave, the employer must provide a cash payment once every 30 days for accrued time over the maximum.
            • Added a one-year waiver of the law’s leave requirements under certain conditions (see Section 4(B)). 
          • The City Council has also posted administrative regulations on its Minimum Wage webpage. Per the regulations:
            • Leave accrual begins on the first day of employment.
            • Paid leave is accrued at a rate of 0.047 hours per hour worked, and unpaid leave is accrued at a rate of 0.039 hours per hour worked (this is a clarification of the original law’s rates, specified as “96/52 hours” and “80/52 hours”, respectively).
            • Full-time employees (employees working 40 hours/week or classified as full-time by company policy, if more generous) accrue up to 96 hours of paid leave and 80 hours of unpaid leave per year; leave is prorated for employees working fewer than full-time hours.
            • Employers may provide paid leave for sick, vacation, or personal necessity separately, as long as the total combined number of paid leave hours is greater than or equal to 96 hours for full-time employees, and at least 50% of the time is either vacation or personal necessity leave.
            • Employers may choose to front-load paid leave in lieu of accrual. Employers who chose to front-load leave must select one type of anniversary, either the beginning of each year of employment or other 12-month period. All required paid leave hours must be provided at each anniversary date.
            • Unused paid leave, whether provided under accrual or by front-loading, will carry over to the following year up to a maximum of 192 hours, unless the employer’s policy is more generous. Unused unpaid leave will carry over to the following year up to a maximum of 80 hours, unless the employer’s policy is more generous. When an employee reaches the maximum accrued paid and unpaid leave, the employee will not accrue additional leave until a portion of the leave is used.
            • For the use of accrued unpaid leave, “immediate family member” is as defined under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
            • Per California Labor Code 227.3, any portion of paid leave classified as vacation or personal necessity leave shall be paid out at the employee’s regular wage rate upon termination. Any portion of paid leave classified as sick leave is not required to be paid to the employee upon termination. However, if an employee is rehired within 1 year of the date of separation from employment, any previously accrued and unused paid leave classified as paid sick leave must be reinstated, unless also paid out at termination under the employer’s policy. Unused unpaid leave need not be paid out at termination, but must be reinstated with rehire within 1 year.
            • Employees are entitled to use accrued paid and unpaid leave no later than 120 days day (6 months) from their first day of employment or consistent with company policies, whichever is sooner. However, paid leave designated as sick leave must be made available to an employee no later than the 90th day of their employment, pursuant to state law.
    • New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act (NM HWA)
        • The law, enacted on April 8, 2021, provides that, beginning July 1, 2022, employees working in New Mexico must accrue 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 64 hours per year. Accrued time may be used for an employee’s or a covered family member’s illness or injury, or to tend to certain legal and family issues.
        • More information may be found in our May 14, 2021 Update and on the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions’ Paid Sick Leave webpage, which includes FAQ and the HWA guide, as well as the required notice (also available in Spanish). The notice must be posted and provided at time of hire, in English, Spanish or any primary language of 10% of the employer’s workforce.
    • Bernalillo County, NM Employee Wellness Act
        • The Employee Wellness Act requires that employees accrue 1 hour of paid leave for every 32 hours worked, which can be used for any reason.  The law originally became effective on October 1, 2020, and featured a phased-in limit for accruals, as outlined below.  The maximum accrual requirement, 56 hours for employers with 35 or more employees, becomes effective this July 1.

Date

2-10 Employees

11-34 Employees

35+ Employees

October 1, 2020

28 hours

28 hours

28 hours

July 1, 2021

28 hours

44 hours

44 hours

July 1, 2022

28 hours

44 hours

56 hours

        • More information and resources may be found on the County’s Employee Wellness Act webpage.

Please contact your MMA account team members with specific questions about this or other updates, and stay up to date with the latest news and information by subscribing to the MMA ADL blog: https://mma-adl.com/blog/

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update: Delaware Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave; WA PFML Rules; AL Adoption Leave

May 12, 2022

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates

Delaware Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave

On May 10 the governor of Delaware signed the Healthy Delaware Families Act (SB1), establishing the “Delaware Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program” to provide job-protected paid leave to employees working in the state. Below is a summary of the law’s text.

Delaware Paid Family and Medical Leave (DE PFML)

Effective Date

    • Contributions: January 1, 2025
    • Benefits Entitlement: January 1, 2026

Subject Employers

  • All Employers who employ 10 or more employees in the State of Delaware
    • Employers with 10 to 24 employees* in the state** during the previous 12 months are subject to only the parental leave requirements.
    • Employers with 25 or more employees* in the state** during the previous 12 months are subject to all parental leave, family caregiving leave, and medical leave requirements.
  • Excludes the federal government and any business that is closed in its entirety for 30 consecutive days or more per year.
  • Small businesses may opt in to the program.

“Small business” is defined as:

    1. For purposes of parental leave, all those that employ 9 or fewer employees working anywhere in the state.
    2. For purposes of family caregiving leave and medical leave, all those that employ 24 or fewer employees working anywhere in the state.

For this purpose “employees” includes those who meet requirements (a) and (b) under the definition of “Covered Individual” (see ‘Eligible Employees’ below) or are reasonably expected to meet those requirements during the previous 12 months.

** The law text does not specifically state whether these employee counts are based on an employer’s size nationwide or limited to within Delaware. However, since the exclusions from the definition of “employer” and the definition of “small business” both specifically indicate “in this state”, until regulations are released to clarify it is assumed that this distinction applies to these thresholds as well.

Eligible Employees

All Employees who primarily report to a worksite in Delaware

    • Excludes any individual covered under DE Code Title 29 §5903 (17)a (casual seasonal employees employed by the state), an individual employed by entities in DE Code Title 14 (public school system) in a position that would be covered under Title 29 §5903 (17)a, or an individual in an equivalent positionwith an entity covered by state employee benefits.

Covered Individual” means an individual who meets all of the following:

    1. Has been employed for at least 12 months by the employer;
    2. Has been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period. For purposes of determining whether an individual meets the service hours requirement, the legal standards established under FMLA apply.
    3. Meets the administrative requirements under the DE PFML law; and
    4. Has submitted an application for DE PFML benefits.

Types of Plans

  • State Program
  • Private Plan
    • A private plan must meet or exceed rights and requirements outlined for the state program.
    • An employer seeking to qualify benefits under a private plan must notify the DE DOL before January 1, 2024 (method TBD).
    • An employer may provide all family and medical leave coverage through an approved private plan or may provide one or more of medical leave coverage, family caregiving leave coverage, or parental leave coverage using an approved private plan and provide the remaining coverage using the state program.
    • If the private plan provides for insurance, the policy must be issued by an insurer authorized to engage in the business of insurance in the state.
    • If the private plan is in the form of self-insurance, the employer must furnish a bond running to the state, with a surety company authorized to transact business in the state as surety, in a form as may be approved by and in an amount as may be required by the DE DOL. This does not apply to public employers.
    • Private benefits in existence on the law’s enactment date (May 10, 2022) that the DE DOL deems to be comparable to the DE PFML program qualify as a private plan for a period of 5 years from the start of contribution payments if the DE DOL’s approval of private plans would not adversely impact the solvency of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund. The DE DOL may determine comparable value through consideration of factors including wage replacement, length of leave, interrelated benefits, eligibility criteria, or frequency of allowed leave.

Contributions

  • Employer- and Employee-Paid, beginning January 1, 2025
  • For 2025 and 2026, the total contribution rate will be 0.80% of wages, allocated as follows:
      • Medical leave: 0.40% of wages                                                                                                                                                                           
      • Family caregiving leave: 0.08% of wages                                                                                                      
      • Parental leave: 0.32% of wages.                                                                                                                                                                  

The contribution rates will be re-evaluated annually for future years.

“Wages” means remuneration for employment as determined for purposes of old-age, survivors, and disability insurance for employees and employers under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act, 26 U.S.C. Chapter 21.

Maximum contribution amount not stated; given the definition of wages, the maximum may be linked to the maximum wages subject to social security taxation ($147,000 in 2022).

    • An employer may deduct from employee wages no more than 50% of the contribution required for each leave type. An employer may elect to pay all or any portion of the employee’s share of the contribution for each leave type.
    • Private Plans:
      • Employees covered by a private plan may not be charged a higher rate than the state program rate.
      • An employer with an approved private plan will not be required to remit the contributions associated with the leave type(s) covered under the private plan.
    • An employee and employer may opt to file a waiver of the required payroll contributions when an employee’s work schedule or length of employment with the employer is not expected to meet the requirements for eligibility for DE PFML benefits.

Reasons for Leave

DE PFML benefits will payable to a Covered Individual for the following reasons:

    • Because of the birth, adoption, or placement through foster care of a child during the first year after the birth, adoption, or placement.
    • To care for a covered family member with a serious health condition (as defined under FMLA).
    • Due to the individual’s own serious health condition that makes them unable to perform the functions of their position.
    • Due to a qualifying exigency arising out of the foreign deployment of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent (qualifying exigency is as defined under FMLA).

Covered Family Members

The employee’s

    • Spouse
    • Child
    • Parent

All as defined under FMLA

Leave Entitlement

    • Parental leave: 12 weeks per Application Year*, to be taken within one year of the birth, adoption, or placement of a child.
    • Medical leave, family caregiving leave, qualifying exigency: 6 weeks combined in any 24-month period
    • Maximum: 12 weeks per Application Year*

* An “Application Year” is the 12-month period as defined under FMLA.

    • Except for parental leave, a Covered Individual is eligible for benefits not more than once in a 24-month period.
    • If two parents are entitled to parental leave, family caregiving leave or qualifying exigency leave and are employed by the same employer, the aggregate number of weeks of leave to which both may be entitled may be limited by the employer to 12 weeks during any 12-month period. The DE DOL may adopt regulations limiting aggregate family caregiving leave claimed by multiple family members for the same qualifying event.
    • Intermittent or reduced schedule leave may be taken only when medically necessary and supported by documentation. DE PFML benefits are not payable for less than one work day of covered leave taken in one work week.

Weekly Benefit Amount

    • 80% of the Covered Individual’s average weekly wages during the 12 months preceding submission of the application, rounded up to the nearest even $1.00

“Wages” means remuneration for employment as determined for purposes of old-age, survivors, and disability insurance for employees and employers under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act, 26 U.S.C. Chapter 21.

    • Minimum Weekly Benefit: $100; if the Covered Individual’s average weekly wage is less than $100 a week, the weekly benefit must be the full wage
    • Maximum Weekly Benefit: $900 in 2026 and 2027; to be re-evaluated annually after 2027
    • No unpaid elimination period is specified in the law.

Notice to Employer

    • An employee must provide their employer notice of the intention to take covered leave 30 days in advance, if known, or as soon as practicable.
    • For leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, the employee must provide the employer with prior notice of the schedule on which leave will be taken, to the extent practicable.

Employment and Benefits Protection

    • Employees returning from DE PFML leave are entitled to be restored by the employer to the position held when leave commenced, or to a position with equivalent seniority, status, employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment, including fringe benefits and service credits, to which the employee had been entitled at the commencement of leave.
    • During DE PFML leave the employer is required to maintain any health care benefits the employee had before taking leave for the duration of the leave as if the employee had continued in employment continuously. The employee must continue to pay their share of the cost of health care benefits as required before the commencement of leave.

Coordination with Other Leaves

    • DE PFML leave that also qualifies as leave under FMLA runs concurrently with leave taken under FMLA and may not be taken in addition to leave under FMLA.
    • An employer may require that payment made under DE PFML be made concurrently or otherwise coordinated with payment made or leave allowed under the terms of disability or family care leave under a collective bargaining agreement or employer policy. The employer must provide employees written notice of this requirement.
    • An employer may require the use of unused accrued paid time off before accessing DE PFML benefits, and the use of accrued paid time off may count toward the total length of leave provided under this chapter, if the employee is not required to exhaust all paid time off.  “Paid time off” is defined as an employer’s provision of vacation and sick leave.
    • An employee may not access DE PFML benefits if the use of benefits results in the employee receiving more than 100% of their weekly wages.
    • The DE PFML law does not diminish an employer’s obligation to comply with any of the following that provide more generous leave:
      • A collective bargaining agreement;
      • An employer policy; or
      • Any other law.

Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA)

    • An individual’s right to covered leave may not be diminished by a collective bargaining agreement entered into or renewed, or an employer policy adopted or retained, after the law’s effective date (July 1, 2022).

Notice Requirements

  1. Individual notice
    • At time of hire, and
    • When an employee requests covered leave or when the employer acquires knowledge that an employee’s leave may be for a qualifying event under DE PFML.

Note: At the time a Covered Individual files a new claim for DE PFML benefits, the employer or an approved private plan must also advise the individual that:

(1)  Family and medical leave benefits may be subject to federal and state income taxes;

(2) Requirements exist pertaining to federal and state estimated tax payments on family and medical leave benefits; and

(3) Under regulations established by the Secretary, applicable taxes will be deducted and withheld from the Covered Individual’s payment of family and medical leave benefits.

  1. Poster displayed in a conspicuous place accessible to employees at the employer’s place of business in English, Spanish, and any language that is the first language spoken by at least 5% of the employer’s workforce, if the poster has been provided by the DE DOL.

Note: The DE PFML law features interesting phrasing in designating core administrative functions such as certification collection, claim determination, and benefits payment as the responsibility of “the employer or an approved private plan”. This seems to suggest that employers will be expected to administer DE PFML benefits even if participating in the state program.  However, in one of final sections of the law (§3713) are the statements, “By January 1, 2025, the Department shall establish and administer a family and medical leave insurance program.” and “By not later than [January 1, 2026], the Department shall pay family and medical leave benefits as specified under this chapter.” This may be clarified as additional information is released

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WA PFML) Rules – Waiting Period

On April 26 Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) adopted rules regarding the 7-day waiting period for WA PFML benefits.  Effective June 9, 2022, the rules found at WAC 192-500-185 are amended as follows:

  • A waiting period does not reduce the maximum duration of an employee’s available paid family or medical leave. The rules were previously silent on this.
  • The waiting period does not apply to medical leave taken upon the birth of a child. Currently the waiting period is waived only for family leave for bonding following a child’s birth or adoption and for leave due to qualifying exigency.

Other News

Alabama Adoption Promotion Act

On April 7 Alabama’s legislature passed the Adoption Promotion Act (SB31/Act 2022-424).  Effective July 1, 2022, the Act requires that:

  • Employers provide 12 weeks of unpaid family leave to an eligible employee for the birth and care of a child born to that employee during the first year after the child’s birth, or for the care of a child placed with the employee in connection with adoption within one year of the placement of the child with the employee.

Note: As this is a covered reason for leave under federal FMLA, and considering the new law only applies to employers subject to and employees eligible for FMLA, this provision doesn’t pose a significant change for employers.

  • Requests for additional family leave due to the adoption of an ill child or a child with a disability must be considered on the same basis as comparable cases of complications accompanying the birth of a child of an employee. Employers are not required to provide additional family leave to an eligible employee once the employee has exhausted the leave to which the employee is entitled under federal law.
  • Employers who provide paid leave* to an employee for the birth and care of a child born to that employee must also provide the lesser of either (1) equivalent paid leave or (2) two weeks paid leave to an employee for the care of a child placed with the employee in connection with adoption during the first year after the placement of the child with the employee.
    • An employer is only required to provide paid leave described above to one of two different eligible employees if both employees would be using the benefits for the care of a child placed for adoption with both employees.
    • * Update June 2, 2022:  According to guidance we have obtained from legal resources, “paid leave” would include benefits provided under an employer’s Short Term Disability program. This means that, even if an employer does not sponsor a separate paid leave policy for bonding, but does offer STD benefits for childbirth and recovery, they must provide paid leave to an employee who adopts a child.
  • Leave benefits may be taken by an employee intermittently only if the employee and the employer agree.
  • Employee must provide at least 30 days’ notice of intent to take the leave, except that if the date of placement requires leave to begin in less than 30 days, the employee shall provide notice as is practicable.

Please contact your MMA account team members with specific questions about this or other updates, and stay up to date with the latest news and information by subscribing to the MMA ADL blog: https://mma-adl.com/blog/

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update: Maryland Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave; WA PFML and OR PST Amendments

April 13, 2022

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates

Maryland’s Legislature Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave

On April 9 the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Time to Care Act of 2022 (SB275), overriding the governor’s veto the day before. The Act establishes the “Maryland Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program” to provide job-protected paid family and medical leave to employees working in the state.

Below is a summary of the law’s text. Regulations defining provisions and requirements are scheduled to be adopted by June 1, 2023.

Maryland Paid Family and Medical Leave (MD PFML)

Effective Date

Contributions: October 1, 2023


Benefits Entitlement: January 1, 2025

Applies To

All Employers who employ at least one individual in the State of Maryland, including governmental entities


Excludes “self-employed individuals”: any individual who is the sole owner and only employee of a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, C Corporation, or S Corporation. Self-employed individuals may opt in, for an initial period of no fewer than 3 years.


All Employees

Types of Plans

State Program


Private Plan - An employer may satisfy MD PFML requirements through a private employer plan consisting of employer-provided benefits, insurance or a combination of both if the private employer plan is offered to all of the employer’s eligible employees and meets or exceeds the rights, protection and benefits provided to a covered employee under the MD PFML law.

Contributions

Employer- and Employee-Paid


Beginning October 1, 2023, employees*, employers with 15 or more employees**, and self-employed individuals electing to participate in the program will be required to contribute to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund.


The initial rate will be determined on or before June 1, 2023, and will be in effect from October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2025.


Beginning in 2025 the contribution rate and the employer/employee cost share will be determined every two years.  To be set on or by June 1 and be in effect for the 24-month period beginning the next January 1.


Maximum wages subject to premium assessment will be equal to maximum wages subject to social security taxation ($147,000 in 2022).


If the employer elects to pay a portion of the employee’s required contribution, the employer may deduct an amount that is less than 75% of the rate of contribution required from the wages of the employee.


Private plan sponsors and their covered employees are exempt from contributing to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund.

*  Section 8 of the law text states that it is intended that the State pay the required contribution to the Fund for employees who make an hourly wage that is less than $15.00 per hour.  This provision expires June 30, 2026.

** Section 7 of the law’s text states that it is intended that the State pay the required contribution to the Fund for employers that are community providers that are community–based agencies or programs funded by the Behavioral Health Administration, the Developmental Disabilities Administration, or the Medical Care Programs Administration to serve individuals with mental disorders, substance–related disorders, or a combination of those disorders or developmental disabilities.

Reasons for Leave

Employee’s own serious health condition;


To bond with a child during the first year following birth or after placement for foster care, kinship care or adoption;


To care for a family member with serious health condition;


To care for a service member with a serious health condition resulting from military service who is the employee’s next of kin;


For circumstances and needs related to a family member’s qualifying exigency.

Covered Family Members

Employee’s spouse;


Child of any age: the employee’s biological, adopted, foster, or stepchild; a child for whom the employee has legal or physical custody or guardianship; legal ward of the employee or of the employee’s spouse; a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, regardless of the child’s age;


Parent: employee’s or spouse’s biological, adoptive, foster, stepparent; someone who acted as a parent or stood in loco parentis to the employee or the employee’s spouse as a minor; employee’s legal guardian;


Employee’s grandparent, grandchild or sibling, whether biological, adoptive, foster or step.

Eligibility for Leave

No service length requirement.


Employee must have worked at least 680 hours over the 12-month period immediately preceding the date on which leave is to begin.

Note:  Regulations may clarify whether this refers to hours worked with the current employer or with any employer in Maryland.

Leave Entitlement

An employee may not receive more than 12 weeks of benefits per Application Year, except that an employee may receive an additional 12 weeks if, during the same Application Year, the employee takes leave for their own serious health condition and leave to bond with a new child.


“Application Year”: the 12-month period beginning on the first day of the calendar week in which an individual files an application for MD PFML benefits


Leave may be taken intermittently in increments of at least four hours.

Weekly Benefit Amount

Benefit Calculation:

If the employee’s Average Weekly Wage* (AWW) is 65% or less of the State Average Weekly Wage** (SAWW), the employee’s Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) will be 90% of the employee’s AWW.


If the employee’s AWW is greater than 65% of the SAWW, the employee’s WBA will be the sum of:

   1. 90% of employee’s Average Weekly Wage  (AWW) up to 65% of the SAWW, plus

   2. 50% of the employee’s AWW that is greater than 65% of the SAWW.


If the employee is taking partially paid leave, the employee’s WBA will be the lesser of:

   1. The amount required to make up the difference between wages paid to the employee while the employee is taking partially paid leave and the full wages normally paid to the employee, or

   2. If the employee’s AWW is greater than 65% of the SAWW, the employee’s WBA will be the sum of: (a.) 90% of employee’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) up to 65% of the SAWW, plus (b.) 50% of the employee’s AWW that is greater than 65% of the SAWW


*  Average Weekly Wage (AWW): the employee’s total wages received over the last 680 hours for which the employee was paid divided by the number of weeks worked.

** State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW): the wage calculated on or before December 15 each year for the following July 1, per MD Code §9-603 (Workers Compensation) ($1,338 for fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, for WC benefits beginning on or after January 1, 2022)


Minimum Weekly Benefit:  $50


Maximum Weekly Benefit:  $1,000 in 2025

The Maximum Weekly Benefit will be announced each September 1 (beginning September 1, 2025) and will apply to claims for benefits filed on or after the following January 1.

Notice to Employer

For leave that is foreseeable, employers may require employees to provide at least 30 days’ notice.


If the need for leave is not foreseeable the employee must (1) provide as soon as practicable, and (2) generally comply with the employer’s procedural requirements for requesting or reporting other leave, if those requirements do not interfere with the employee’s ability to use MD PFML leave.

Employment and Benefits Protection

Employees returning from MD PFML must be restored to a position of employment equivalent to the position held prior to leave.  An employer may deny restoration of the employee’s position of employment if:


1. the denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the employer’s operations;

2. the employer notifies the employee of the intent to deny restoration of the employee’s position at the time the employer determines the economic injury would occur; and

3. if the employee’s MD PFML leave has already begun, the employee elects not to return to employment after receiving notice of the employer’s intention to deny restoration of the employee’s position.


During an employee’s period of MD PFML, an employer may terminate his or her employment only for cause.


During an employee’s period of MD PFML, employment health benefits must continue in the same manner as required under FMLA.

Coordination with Other Leaves

If an employee takes leave for which they are receiving MD PFML benefits, the leave will run concurrently with eligible leave that may be taken by the employee under FMLA.


Employees must exhaust all employer-provided leave that is not required to be provided under law before receiving MD PFML benefits. Employer-provided leave to be exhausted must comply with job, benefits, retaliation and discrimination protections required during MD PFML leave.


Employees receiving benefits under Unemployment* or wage replacement benefits under Workers' Compensation are not eligible for MD PFML benefits, except that an employee receiving compensation for a permanent partial disability under Workers’ Compensation may be eligible.

*  Section 4 of the law’s text states that “on or before January 1, 2023, the Maryland Department of Labor shall report … on whether a covered employee using benefits under the Maryland Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program … is also eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits … and the effect that dual eligibility has on employer ratings.”

Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA)

The law does not diminish an employer’s obligation to comply with a CBA or employer policy that allows an employee to take leave for a longer period of time than the employee would be able to receive MD PFML benefits.

An employee’s right to benefits under the MD PFML law may not be diminished by CBA or employer policy.

An agreement to waive an employee’s rights under the MD PFML law is void as against public policy.

Notice Requirements

Employers must provide written notice of rights and responsibilities under the MD PFML law to each employee:

• at the time of hire

• annually; and

• within 5 business days of the employer being notified by the employee or otherwise becoming aware that the employee’s need for leave may be for a MD PFML-qualifying reason


Model notice(s) will be provided by the Maryland Department of Labor.

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WA PFML) Amendment

On March 30 the governor of Washington signed SB5649, amending the WA PFML law effective June 9, 2022. In addition to implementing measures aimed at monitoring the financial stability and solvency of the family and medical leave insurance account, the amendment makes a few changes to more visible aspects of the program:

  • Family leave may be taken for seven days following the death of a child for whom the employee:
    1. would have qualified for medical leave for the birth; or
    2. would have qualified for bonding leave for 12 months following placement with the employee.
  • If an employee is eligible for WA PFML benefits due to incapacity during pregnancy or for prenatal care, the six-week “postnatal” period following the birth of her child will automatically be designated medical leave unless the employee chooses to use family leave during that time. Certification of a serious health condition will not be required during the postnatal period.
  • Currently the WA PFML law excludes parties subject to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in effect on October 19, 2017, until the CBA expires or is reopened or renegotiated. The amendment sets the end date for this exclusion as December 31, 2023.
  • The Employment Security Department (ESD) will be required to publish a current list of all employers with approved Voluntary Plans on its website.
Other News

Oregon Paid Sick Time Amendment

On March 21 Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) filed a permanent rule expanding the permissible uses for time accrued under the state’s paid sick time law during a public health emergency. The permanent rule mirrors the temporary rule in place from August 6, 2021, through January 17, 2022, and states that, effective April 1, 2022:

The following public health emergencies are permissible uses of sick leave unless the employee is employed as a first responder:

    1. An emergency evacuation order of level 2 (SET) or level 3 (GO) issued by a public official with the authority to do so, if the affected area subject to the order includes either the location of the employer’s place of business or the employee’s home address; or
    2. A determination by a public official with the authority to do so that the air quality index or heat index are at a level where continued exposure to such levels would jeopardize the health of the employee

Virginia – Paid Family Leave as Class of Insurance

On April 7 the governor of Virginia approved HB1156, amending the state’s insurance code to include paid family leave as a class of insurance effective July 1, 2022.

The law defines “Family Leave Insurance” as an insurance policy issued to an employer related to a benefit program provided to an employee to pay for a percentage or portion of the employee’s income loss due to:

    1. the birth of a child or adoption of a child by the employee;
    2. placement of a child with the employee for foster care;
    3. care of a family member of the employee who has a serious health condition; or
    4. circumstances arising out of the fact that the employee’s family member who is a service member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty.

Family Leave Insurance may be written as an amendment or rider to a group disability income policy, included in a group disability income policy, or written as a separate group insurance policy purchased by an employer.

Please contact your MMA account team members with specific questions about this or other updates, and stay up to date with the latest news and information by subscribing to the MMA ADL blog: https://mma-adl.com/blog/

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update – Philadelphia, PA COVID-19 Leave, DC PFML Changes

March 25, 2022

COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Updates

Philadelphia, PA

On March 9 the mayor of Philadelphia signed Bill No. 220051-A, resurrecting the city’s Public Health Emergency Leave that expired last summer and renaming it “COVID-19 Leave”. 

Effective Dates: March 9, 2022 through December 31, 2023

Applies to:

  • All Employers with 25 or more employees (2021 PHEL applied to employers with 50 or more employees)
  • Employees who:
  1. work for an employer within Philadelphia after March 9, 2022;
  2. normally work within Philadelphia but are currently teleworking from any other location as a result of COVID-19; or
  3. work for the employer from multiple or mobile locations, provided that 51% or more of their work time is spent in Philadelphia.
  • Excludes construction craft employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between a labor organization and one or more employers engaged in the construction industry.

Reasons for Use: An employee may take COVID-19 Leave if they are unable to work due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. A determination by a public official or public health authority having jurisdiction, a health care provider, or an employer that the employee’s presence on the job or in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the employee’s exposure to COVID-19 or because the employee is exhibiting symptoms that might jeopardize the health of others, regardless whether the employee has been diagnosed with or has tested positive for COVID-19;
  2. The employee’s need to:
    1. self-isolate because they are diagnosed with or have tested positive for COVID-19;
    2. self-isolate because they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
    3. seek or obtain medical diagnosis, care, or treatment because they are experiencing symptoms of an illness related to COVID-19;
  3. To care for a family member to whom numbers 1 or 2 above apply;
  4. To care for a child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or the childcare provider of such child is unavailable, due to precautions taken in response to COVID-19;
  5. The employee’s need to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster, or to recover from any side effects related to the vaccination.

Leave Entitlement:

  • Employees who work 40 hours or more per week are eligible for 40 hours of COVID-19 Leave (vs. 80 hours under 2021 PHEL);
  • Employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week are eligible for a number of COVID-19 Leave hours equal to the average number of hours worked or scheduled to work, whichever is greater, in a 7-day period;
  • Variable schedule employees are eligible for a number of COVID-19 Leave hours equal to 7 times the average number of daily hours that the employee was scheduled over the past 90 days of work, including hours for which the employee took leave of any type.

Pay:

  • COVID-19 Leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay or the state minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Interplay with Other Leaves:

  • COVID-19 Leave is in addition to all other paid leave benefits offered by an employer, and may not be reduced by the amount of any paid leave an employee has previously received. In addition, an employer may not reduce the amount of any paid leave a COVID-19 Leave-eligible employee was otherwise entitled to use or accrue under such employer’s existing policies as of March 9, 2022.
  • An employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave available to the employee before the employee is eligible to use COVID-19 Leave, unless state or federal law requires otherwise
  • Employers who adopted a COVID-19 paid leave policy may substitute that policy for requirements under the Ordinance; however, the employer must provide additional leave where the Ordinance’s requirements exceed the provisions of the employer’s COVID-19 policy available to a particular employee.
  • Employers may substitute leave under federal or state COVID-19 paid leave law for its COVID-19 Leave obligations to the extent they coincide and the relevant federal or state law permits concurrent use of paid leave. Employers must provide additional leave if the requirements of this Ordinance exceed the requirements of those laws and as permitted under the federal or state law.
  • Employers are not required to change existing policies or provide additional paid leave if an existing company policy provides a minimum amount of paid leave in 2022 that can be used for the same purposes and under all of the same conditions as COVID-19 Leave:
    • Employees who perform the majority of their work through telework: a minimum of 80 hours;
    • All other employees: a minimum of 120 hours*, whether or not this time is specifically designated as sick leave.

* 112.5 hours for employers who operate on a 7.5 hour work day and consider employees working 37.5 hours per week to be full-time.

Job Protection:

  • Employees who take COVID-19 Leave are entitled, upon return from leave, to be restored to the position held prior to leave.

Notice to Employees and Recordkeeping:

  • notice must be distributed to all employees or posted conspicuously, in all languages spoken by 5% of the employer’s workforce, within 15 days of the law’s effective date (i.e., by 3/24/22).  The notice may be provided electronically to remote employees or if the employer does not maintain a workplace. A model notice has been posted on the city’s COVID-19 Pandemic Paid Sick Leave Resources webpage.
  • Records of hours worked, leave provided and leave used must be maintained for two years.

Collective Bargaining Agreements:

  • The Ordinance’s provisions may be waived in a CBA, but only if (a) the waiver is explicitly expressed, (b) the CBA provides comparable benefits, and (c) the agreement is in effect contractually. CBA terms must be implemented bilaterally.
  • As noted above, the Ordinance’s requirements exclude construction craft employees who are covered by a CBA between a labor organization and one or more employers engaged in the construction industry.

Please see our side-by-side comparison for more details on each of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave laws.

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates

District of Columbia Paid Family and Medical Leave (DC PFML) Changes

In our October 8, 2021 Statutory Update we summarized amendments to the DC PFML program included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Support Act of 2021 (B24-0285/D.C. Act 24-176), signed by the mayor on September 27. In addition to temporary benefit changes, such as the increased maximum duration for medical leave, the introduction of pre-natal leave, and the waiver of the waiting period, the Act outlined a plan for annual review of the program’s solvency and consequent adjustments to benefits and/or the contribution rate.

On March 1 the Office of the Chief Financial Officer certified that current funding allows for enactment of the maximum level of benefits authorized by the Act, as well as a reduction to the employer contribution rate.  With this certification, the following changes will be implemented:

  1. Effective July 1, 2022, the employer contribution rate for DC PFML will decrease from 0.62% to 0.26% of wages; and
  2. Effective October 1, 2022, leave entitlements will increase to the maximum level outlined in the Act’s schedule.

Leave Type

Current Maximum

Effective

October 1, 2022

Medical

6 weeks

12 weeks

Family Care

6 weeks

12 weeks

Parental

8 weeks

12 weeks

Pre-natal

2 weeks

2 weeks

Combined Maximum

(per 52-week period)

8 weeks

12 weeks

Permanent removal of the waiting period has been incorporated into budget measures currently under consideration.  In addition, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) will be providing an updated version of the required Employee Notice reflecting the changes above. We will continue to monitor and provide updates.

Please contact your MMA account team members with specific questions about this or other updates, and stay up to date with the latest news and information by subscribing to the MMA ADL blog: https://mma-adl.com/blog/

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Updates

March 10, 2022

COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Updates

California Local Ordinances

  • Long Beach: With the recent reinstatement of statewide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) effective February 19 (see our March 4 Statutory Update for details), Long Beach’s SPSL ordinance has ended and only the state’s requirements apply. 
  • The following local ordinances are still in effect:
    • Los Angeles City: SPSL Ordinance requirements apply until two weeks after the local COVID-19 emergency period. The March 4 Safer L.A. Order indicates that the city’s emergency period is still in effect.
    • Los Angeles County: SPSL Ordinance requirements apply until two weeks after the local COVID-19 emergency period.

Note: While a March 3 Health Officer Order indicates the county’s emergency period is still in effect, the county’s Department of Public Health website directs to California state SPSL (see ‘Maintain healthy business operations’ and ‘Resources’).

  • Oakland: SPSL Ordinance requirements apply for the duration of the city’s Declaration of COVID-19 Emergency.

Note: While the local emergency period is still in effect, the city’s Resources for Workers webpage directs to California state SPSL.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave requirements were set to expire upon the earlier of the exhaustion of the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Fund or April 1, 2022.  The state’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance recently announced that, because reimbursements for the program are approaching their full budgeted amount of $100 million, March 15, 2022, will be the final day of the program. 

Employers may continue to seek reimbursement for qualifying leave costs taken between May 28, 2021 and March 15, 2022.  Applications for reimbursement must be submitted by April 29, 2022.

For more details visit the COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program website.

Please see our side-by-side comparison for more details on each of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave laws.

Other News

San Francisco, CA Paid Sick Leave Guidance

On February 22 San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) posted updated guidance regarding the use of time accrued under the city’s paid sick leave ordinance during the COVID-19 health emergency.  The guidance includes the following:

Reasons for Use: Covered employees must be permitted to use paid sick leave (PSL) for the following COVID-19-related reasons:

  • To take time off work because public health officials or healthcare providers require or recommend the employee isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of disease;
  • To take time off work for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment or for vaccination side effects;
  • To take time off work because the employee’s business or a work location temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation (subject to eligibility restrictions – see below);
  • To take time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member to attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, who is experiencing vaccination side effects, or who is not sick but who public health officials or healthcare providers have required or recommended isolate or quarantine;
  • To take time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member whose school, child care provider, senior care provider, or work temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation.

Eligibility:

  • Workers who have been laid off are no longer eligible.
  • Employees who have their hours reduced or eliminated are not entitled to use accrued paid sick leave to account for such reductions or eliminations. Employees who remain scheduled to work may continue to use their accrued paid sick leave for any qualifying reason for any portion of their scheduled hours they are unable to work.
    • Documentation: During the current local health emergency documentation supporting the use of PSL may be requested after five consecutive days of leave, except that, if an employee is using PSL for a COVID-19 related reason and is not under a doctor’s care, the employer must accept the employee’s attestation of the need for leave. This timeframe will revert back to the law’s standard 3 days upon expiration of the local health emergency, unless OLSE revokes the temporary guidance sooner.

Please contact your MMA account team members with specific questions about this or other updates, and stay up to date with the latest news and information by subscribing to the MMA ADL blog.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update – California Reinstates COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

March 4, 2022

COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Updates

California

Our February 3 Statutory Update included mention that legislation reinstating “COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave” was awaiting final approval.  On Wednesday, February 9, SB114 was signed by the governor.

Effective Date: February 19, 2022

  • COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) requirements are applicable retroactively to January 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022.

Applies to:

  • All Employers with 26 or more employees, including those with Collective Bargaining Agreements;
  • Employees who are unable to work or telework.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    • Excludes independent contractors.

Note: The law features requirements/entitlements for firefighters and for providers of in-home supportive or waiver personal care services (all as defined) that vary from those described here.

Reasons for Use:

  1. The employee is, or is caring for a covered family member who is, subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidance* of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local public health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace.

*FAQ #8 clarifies that the order or guidance must be specific to the covered employee’s circumstances. A general stay-at-home order would not count. For example, guidance or an order of a local public health officer that directs individuals who live with someone who has COVID-19 to quarantine themselves would satisfy the eligibility requirement for taking 2022 COVID-19 SPSL. See also FAQ #9.

  1. The employee has been, or is caring for a covered family member who has been, advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
  2. The employee is attending an appointment for themselves or for a covered family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a covered family member who is experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework.
    • Employers may limit leave for this reason to 3 days or 24 hours per injection, unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that the employee or their family member is continuing to experience related symptoms. The 3-day or 24-hour limitation includes any time used to obtain the vaccine or booster (#3 above).
  1. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  2. The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.
  3. The employee or a covered family member has tested positive for COVID-19 (see details under Leave Entitlement below).

Covered Family Members:

      • Spouse or registered domestic partner
      • Child (biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis), regardless of age or dependency status
      • Parent (biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child)
      • Grandparent
      • Grandchild
      • Sibling

Leave Entitlement:

Employees considered by the employer to work Full-Time and any employee who worked or was scheduled to work, on average, at least 40 hours per week for the employer in the two weeks preceding the date the covered employee takes SPSL, are entitled to:

    1. 40 hours for the reasons outlined above; and
    2. An additional bank of 40 hours if the employee, or a covered family member for whom the covered employee is providing care, tests positive for COVID-19.
      • Employees need not exhaust the initial 40 hours of SPSL in order to be eligible for this additional entitlement; however,
      • Employers may require employees to provide documentation of a positive COVID-19 test:
        • For leave associated with the employee’s own needs, the employer may require the employee to submit to a diagnostic test, at no expense to the employee, on or after the fifth day after the original test was taken and provide documentation of those results.
        • For leave associated with the care of a covered family member, the employer may require that the employee provide documentation of that family member’s test results.
        • Employers are under no obligation to provide this additional leave to an employee who declines to provide the requested documentation.

Note: The FAQ include that documentation may also be requested if the employee is requesting retroactive pay (see below) for leave that is available only if the employee or qualifying family member was positive for COVID-19. This documentation could include a medical record of the test result, an e-mail or text from the testing company with the results, a picture of the test result, or a contemporaneous text or e-mail from the employee to the employer stating that the employee or a qualifying family member tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Maximum Entitlement: 80 hours between January 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022.
  • Employees taking SPSL as of September 30, 2022, may take the full amount of SPSL to which they are entitled.

Each bank of leave described above is prorated for employees who do not fall under the “Full-Time” definition:

    • Part-Time employees with a normal weekly schedule are eligible to an amount of SPSL equal to the number of hours they are normally scheduled to work for the employer in one week.
    • Employees with variable schedules who have worked for the employer for more than seven days are entitled to an amount of SPSL equal to seven times the average number of hours they worked each day in the six months preceding the date SPSL is taken (or from start of employment, if shorter than six months).  Employees who have worked for the employer for seven days or fewer are entitled to an amount of SPSL equal to the total number of hours they have worked for the employer.

Pay:

  • Exempt employees: SPSL pay must be calculated in the same manner used to calculate wages for other forms of paid leave.
  • Non-Exempt employees: SPSL pay may be calculated either:
    • in the same manner as the regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the employee uses SPSL, whether or not the employee actually works overtime in that workweek; or
    • by dividing the employee’s total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total non-overtime hours worked in the full pay periods occurring within the prior 90 days of employment. For non-exempt employees paid by piece rate, commission or other method that uses all hours to determine the regular rate of pay, total wages, not including overtime premium pay, must be divided by all hours, to determine the correct amount of SPSL.
  • Maximum: $511 per day, $5,110 total
    • Any employee reaching the maximum dollar amount may choose to utilize other paid leave available in order to receive full compensation.
  • SPSL must be paid no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after leave is taken.

Retroactive payments:  Upon oral or written request from the employee…

  • Any SPSL-eligible leave taken between January 1, 2022, and February 19, 2022, that was paid in an amount less than the maximum stated above must be paid retroactively.  Payment must be provided on or before the payday for the next full pay period after the employee’s request, and must be reflected on the employee’s wage statement (see Notice to Employees below). The number of hours of leave corresponding to the amount of the retroactive payment may be counted towards the total number of hours of SPSL that the employer is required to provide.
  • For any SPSL-eligible leave taken between January 1, 2022, and February 19, 2022, that was paid in an amount equal to or greater than this law’s requirements, the hours taken by the employee may be credited to the employee and to the employer as SPSL.
    • If the employee was fully paid, but leave for the absence was deducted from another leave bank that the employer provides, the employee may request that leave be restored and the deduction be made in a corresponding amount from the employee’s 2022 SPSL leave bank. The decision to restore used time is the employee’s decision.

Employer Offsets:

  • SPSL is in addition to any paid time accrued or otherwise available to the employee under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (CA Paid Sick Leave, CA Labor Code §245-249).
  • Employers may not require an employee to use any other paid or unpaid leave, paid time off, or vacation time before or instead of using SPSL.
  • If an employer provided supplemental paid leave that is payable for the reasons covered by and at the same or a greater level of compensation as this law on or after January 1, 2022, the employer may count the hours of the other paid benefit or leave towards the total number of hours of SPSL required. This may include leave provided under similar law in effect or that becomes effective on or after January 1, 2022, but may not include remaining leave provided under SPSL laws previously enacted in California (including 2021 SPSL under SB95).
  • SPSL does not limit an employer’s obligation to comply with the Cal-OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards or the Cal-OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard. An employer may not require a covered employee to exhaust their SPSL before satisfying any requirement to provide paid leave under the ETS’ or ATDS’ requirements. This is a deviation from the 2021 SPSL requirements.

Notice to Employees and Recordkeeping:

Employers must:

  1. Display a poster in a conspicuous place outlining employees’ rights and responsibilities. This may be provided electronically to employees who do not frequent a workplace. (A Spanish version is also available.)
  2. Beginning the next full pay period after February 19, 2022, provide each employee with written notice that sets forth the amount of SPSL used by the employee through the pay period in which it was due to be paid on either the employee’s itemized wage statement or in a separate writing provided on the designated pay date with the employee’s payment of wages. SPSL must be listed separately from time available under the CA Paid Sick Leave law; zero hours must be listed if the employee has not used any SPSL.

Records of hours worked and paid sick days accrued and used by each employee must be retained for three years.

Additional Notes:

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave requirements still exist in California at the local level in Long Beach, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County and Oakland – it remains to be seen if/how the statewide law impacts the continuation of these ordinances.

Please see our side-by-side comparison for more details on each of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave laws.

Please contact your MMA account team members with specific questions about this or other updates.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update – COVID-19 Legislation; NY PSL Regs, WA LTC & More

February 3, 2022

COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Updates

Below are a few updates since our last summary on December 3:

California

On January 25 the governor of California and members of the state legislature announced that they reached an agreement regarding reinstatement of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. In its current form, the proposed legislation (AB84 / SB114, as of February 2) features requirements that largely resemble those of the 2021 law that expired on September 30: 

  • Applies to employers with 26 or more employees.
  • Between January 1 and September 30, 2022, full-time employees who are unable to work or telework are eligible for 40 hours of SPSL for reasons associated with COVID-19 (including vaccination), and an additional 40 hours upon providing proof of their or a family member’s positive COVID-19 test. Benefits are prorated for part-time employees, and vary slightly for firefighters and providers of in-home supportive services (both as defined).
  • Leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate, up to $511 per day, to a maximum of $5,110.
  • SPSL is in addition to time accrued under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (accrued paid sick leave) and COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave provided in 2021. However, if an employer provides supplemental paid leave that is payable for the same reasons and at the same level of compensation as this law on or after January 1, 2022, the employer may count the hours of the other paid benefit or leave towards the total number of hours of SPSL required.

We will continue to monitor and provide updates as possible.

Long Beach, CA

In our December 3 Statutory Update we noted the Long Beach City Council’s recommendation that the city’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave requirements sunset on December 31, 2021.  In a vote held on December 7 it was decided that the ordinance should be sunset “no sooner than” February 28, 2022.

Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has posted updated guidance addressing the applicability of Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) in 2022. The guidance (INFO #6C) clarifies that PHEL is still in effect but that employers are not required to provide an additional 80 hours of PHEL in 2022. However, they must allow employees to access any balance of PHEL not used in 2021, and offer the full 80 hours to new employees.

Note: CDLE has also posted updated guidance regarding accrued paid sick leave under the Healthy Workplaces and Families Act (HFWA) (INFO #6B), which includes a link to the 2022 version of the worksite poster (translations available here).

New York

New York’s “COVID-19 quarantine leave” requirements provide paid leave to employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation. For employers with 100 or more employees, this paid leave is in the form of 14 days of “COVID-19 sick leave”.  With the New York State Department of Health’s (NYS DOH) decision to align with the CDC’s amended guidelines for quarantine and isolation, the quarantine leave FAQ have been updated with the following:

Q: On January 13, 2022, the Department of Health released updated guidance allowing individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 to end their quarantine after 5 days if they are asymptomatic and subsequently test negative, or if it is not possible to get a test and they have had no COVID-19 symptoms. How does this affect NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits?

A: NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits are only available during the order of quarantine or isolation. Once an individual is no longer subject to an order of quarantine or isolation, they are no longer eligible for NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits.

NYS DOH has also posted self-attestation forms on its Isolation and Quarantine webpage that may be used by employees in lieu of obtaining a quarantine or isolation order from a government entity or treating healthcare provider in order to qualify for quarantine leave benefits. These forms are intended to be utilized in accordance with the January 14 guidance:

  • Affirmation of Isolation: to be used by individuals if they or a family member have tested positive for COVID-19 or show symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status;
  • Affirmation of Quarantine: to be used by individuals if they or a family member have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive during their contagious period, were not up to date on COVID-19 vaccination at the time of exposure, and have been in quarantine.

Please see our side-by-side comparison for more details on each of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave laws.

Other COVID-19 Legislation

District of Columbia Vaccination Leave and DC FMLA Amendment – Update

In our December 3 Update we included a review of emergency legislation temporarily amending the District of Columbia’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA) to provide paid time off for COVID-19 vaccination effective November 18, 2021, and extending “COVID-19 Leave” under the District’s Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA) effective November 5. The emergency (90-day) legislation has been followed by the COVID Vaccination Leave Temporary Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0405 / D.C. Act 24-255), which was approved by the mayor on December 22 and is projected to become law on/around February 18, 2022, following Congressional review. The temporary Act extends the effective period of the amendments (to 225 days from when it takes effect), but otherwise makes no material changes to the provisions of the emergency Act.

On January 14, 2022, the District’s Office of Human Rights (OHR) released updated guidance around DC FMLA “COVID-19 Leave”, as well as a new poster.  The poster should be displayed conspicuously in the workplace by all employers with 20 or more employees in the District; it is also recommended that it be made easily accessible to employees working remotely.

New York City COVID-19 Child Vaccination Time

On December 24 New York City’s City Council enacted Local Law 172. The law temporarily amends the city’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESTA) to require that all employers provide paid time off for employees to accompany a child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or to care for a child recovering from the vaccine’s side effects.

Effective retroactively to November 2, 2021, through December 31, 2022, the law requires up to four hours of paid time off, per injection, per child.  Eligible employees are those working in New York City who are parents of a child under age 18, or of an older child incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. “Parent” is defined as a biological, foster, step, or adoptive parent; legal guardian; or a person standing in loco parentis.

Employers may require up to seven days’ advance notice if the need for COVID-19 child vaccination time is foreseeable, and may request that documentation of vaccination be received within seven days of the date time is taken.

Paid time under the law is in addition to any paid time otherwise available to the employee under ESTA. Employees must be paid for COVID-19 child vaccination time at the greater of their regular rate of pay or the applicable minimum wage, no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period beginning after the time is used by the employee (or after the law took effect, if qualifying time was taken prior to the law’s enactment).

Given the law’s retroactive effective date, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) will not impose certain penalties during the 60 days after enactment without first providing an employer with written notice of an alleged violation and 15 days to remedy the alleged violation.

While the law does not outline any requirements for notifying employees, the city has posted a flyer for informational purposes on the ESTA webpage.

Please see our summary of each of the COVID-19 Vaccination Leave laws.

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

New York Paid Sick Leave – Final Regulations

On December 22 the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) released final regulations for New York Paid Sick Leave, which went into effect on September 30, 2020.  The regulations provide the following clarifications:

While the law specifically requires that employers carry over unused sick leave to the next calendar year, with no limit and even when time is “frontloaded”, employers may do one of the following:

  1. give employees the option to voluntarily elect to use and receive payment for paid sick leave prior to the end of a calendar year or carry over unused sick leave; or
  2. only allow employees to carry over unused sick leave.

For the purpose of determining an employer’s number of employees and, therefore, the amount of required leave, NYS DOL interprets the statute to include all employees of the employer nationwide. The number of employees is determined by counting the highest total number of employees concurrently employed at any point during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31) to date.

Employers may request verification for leaves exceeding three consecutive workdays, but may not deny an employee leave while attempting to confirm the basis for the leave, or when requested medical documentation or other verification is unattainable due to associated costs. If, however, the employer discovers the request to be false or fraudulent, disciplinary action may be taken against the employee.

Employees may use accrued paid sick time upon a verbal or written request to their employer. There is no specified notice or time period requirement, even for foreseeable leave.

Washington Long Term Care (WA Cares) Update

Our December 22 Update included notice of the December 17 announcement of the delay of premium collection for the WA Cares Fund set to begin January 1, 2022. The announcement included the suggestion that employers should not collect premiums from employees. The following week the governor issued a statement indicating that, while he had the authority to instruct the Employment Security Department (ESD) not to collect premiums, “only the legislature has the authority to eliminate the requirement that employers pay a premium based on withholding from an employee’s wages.” He added that, unless the legislature acted to change the law as written, employers would be obliged to pay the full premium amount owed. This pivot naturally caused some confusion for employers and individuals subject to the law.

On January 27 the governor signed two pieces of legislation providing firm direction on premium collection and making a few program changes (refer to our May 19, 2021 Update for additional context):

  1. HB1732
    • Officially delays premium collection from employees to July 1, 2023 (no change to the rate of 0.58% of wages);
    • Requires that any premiums collected from employees prior to July 1, 2023, must be refunded within to 120 days from collection;
    • Moves the program benefits start date from January 1, 2025, to July 1, 2026;
    • Expands the definition of a “qualified individual” to include someone born before January 1, 1968, who does not otherwise meet program eligibility, if the person has contributed to the program for at least one year at the time of need for benefits. Those eligible under this provision may receive one-tenth of the maximum number of benefit units (i.e., $3,650) for each year of premium payment.
    • Amends the election period for self-employed individuals to opt in to coverage under the program. The election period begins July 1, 2023, and coverage must be elected before July 1, 2026, or within three years of the individual becoming self-employed for the first time.
    • The WA Cares Fund Employer Information webpage has been updated with instruction for employers to:
      • Stop withholding WA Cares premiums from employee earnings.
      • Reimburse employees for WA Cares premiums within 120 days of the date premiums were collected.
      • Continue to maintain copies of exemption approval letters for workers who’ve provided them.
  2. HB1733
    • Extends exemption opportunities to several groups of employees:
      • Veterans of the U.S. military who have been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as having a service-connected disability of 70% or greater;
      • Spouses or registered domestic partners of active duty U.S. service members whether or not deployed or stationed within or outside of Washington;
      • Employees who hold a nonimmigrant visa for temporary workers, as recognized by federal law, and are employed by an employer in Washington; and
      • Employees who are employed by an employer in Washington, but maintain a permanent address outside of Washington as their primary location of residence.
    • Applications for exemptions for these groups will be accepted by ESD beginning January 1, 2023.  Individuals with an approved exemption are permanently ineligible for the WA Cares program unless their personal circumstances cause for the exemption to be discontinued (Section 2 of the law text describes these circumstances and required actions).
    • Does not alter or extend the exemption for individuals with Long Term Care insurance policies purchased prior to November 1, 2021, outlined in the original law.
Benefits for Domestic Workers

San Francisco, CA

On January 13 the mayor of San Francisco approved the “Domestic Workers’ Equal Access to Paid Sick Leave Ordinance” (Ordinance No. 4-22), requiring accrued paid sick leave for domestic workers (as defined).  Workers must accrue an amount of paid sick leave of no less than one hour per 30 hours worked. “Small businesses” may cap accrual at 40 hours, and other employers at 72 hours (see the definitions of “Employer” and “Small Business” in SF Admin. Code §12W.2(d) and (f)).

The ordinance also calls for the establishment of a “paid sick leave system” into which employers will report a worker’s rate of pay and hours worked, and through which payment of accrued paid sick leave funds will be coordinated.  This system will allow a worker’s paid time to be accrued and consolidated across multiple employers, and/or travel with the worker during a transition from one employer to another. 

The ordinance will become effective February 12, 2022, with the due date for commencement of worker accruals and finalized implementation of the paid sick leave system one year later (on or around February 12, 2023). 

New York

On December 22 the governor of New York signed A6077 which, effective January 1, 2023, reduces the minimum number of hours that personal or domestic workers must work in order to be eligible for state disability (NY DBL) benefits from forty per week to twenty.

Please contact your Trion Account Team members with specific questions about these or other updates.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. d/b/a in California as Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency LLC; CA Insurance Lic: 0H18131. Copyright © 2022 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. All rights reserved. MarshMMA.com

Statutory Update: 2022 Statutory Disability & Paid Family Leave Benefits and Rates, Allegheny County PSL, WA LTC Delay

December 22, 2021

2022 Statutory Disability & Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits and Rates

California
State Disability Insurance (CA SDI) and Paid Family Leave (CA PFL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

SDI: 52 weeks
PFL: 8 weeks

No Change

Waiting Period

SDI: 7 days

PFL: None

No Change

Benefit Percentage

• If High Quarter earnings < 1/3 of the State’s Average Quarterly Wage (SAQW): 70%
• If High Quarter earnings => 1/3 of the SAQW: 60%
(SAQW = 13x SAWW)

No Change

Under AB908 (2016, effective 1/1/2018), the benefit level was to revert back to 55% effective 1/1/2022; this timeline was extended to 1/1/2023 by AB138, approved 7/16/2021.

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,383

$1,570

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$1,357

$1,540

Contribution Rate
Employee-Paid

1.2%

1.1%

Taxable Wage Ceiling

$128,298

$145,600

Maximum Employee Contribution

$1,539.58 per year

$1,601.60 per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster (Notice to Employees) as well as

notice (DE 2515 and DE 2511) at hire and the time of need for leave


Colorado

Paid Family and Medical Leave (CO PFML)

Contributions begin January 1, 2023; benefits entitlement begins January 1, 2024.



Connecticut

Paid Family and Medical Leave (CT PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Benefits begin January 1, 2022

12 weeks, +2 weeks for employee’s pregnancy incapacity (PI)

Family Violence: 12 days

Benefit Percentage

95% of the employee’s Base Weekly Earnings

equal to or less than 40 times the Minimum Fair Wage,

plus 60% of the employee’s Base Weekly Earnings

above 40 times the Minimum Fair Wage


Minimum Fair Wage (MFW)

$13/hour (eff. 8/1/21)

Maximum Weekly Benefit (60x MFW)

$780

Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

.5%

No Change

Taxable Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

$147,000

Maximum Employee Contribution

$714 per year

$735 per year

Required Notice

Employee notice requirements are not set to begin until July 1, 2022; however, employers may want to utilize materials posted on the CT PFML Employer Page to inform their employees about program benefits beginning January 1.


District of Columbia

Paid Family and Medical Leave (DC PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 2 weeks

(increased to 6 weeks for leave beginning 9/26/21 through 9/30/22)

Pre-natal Medical Leave: 2 weeks

(new, for claims filed 10/1/21 through 9/30/22)

Family Care: 6 weeks

Bonding: 8 weeks

Combined maximum: 8 weeks in a 52-week period

(potential for 10 weeks Pre-natal and Parental combined)

Waiting Period

7 days

Waived for claims filed after 10/1/21 until approximately 7/24/22

Benefit Formula

• If EAWW* =< 150% of DC min. wage x 40: 90%

• If EAWW > 150% of DC min. wage x 40: 90% of 150% of DC min. wage x 40 plus 50% of the difference of the EAWW and 150% of DC min. wage x 40

* Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined

No Change

DC Minimum Wage

$15/hour

$15.20/hour (eff. 7/1/21)

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$1,000 (leave beginning before 9/25/21)

$1,009 (leave beginning on or after 9/26/21 – see Public Notice)

Contribution Rate

Employer-Paid

.62%

No Change

Maximum Contribution

No maximum

No Change

Required Notice

Notice posted and provided at hire, annually and at the time of need for leave.  The '2021' Notice is dated 12/2021 and includes the changes effective ~10/1/2021 outlined in our October 8 Update.


Hawaii

Temporary Disability Insurance (HI TDI)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 Weeks

No Change

Waiting Period

7 Days

Benefit Percentage

58%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$640

$697

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid; Employer pays any balance required

Up to ½ of plan costs, max .5%

No Change

Maximum Weekly Wage Base

$1,102.90

$1,200.30

Maximum Employee Contribution

$5.51 per week

$6.00 per week

Required Notice


Massachusetts

Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 20 weeks

Family Care: 12 weeks

Bonding or Qualifying Exigency: 12 weeks

Injured Servicemember: 26 weeks

Combined maximum: 26 weeks in a 52-week period

No Change

Waiting Period

7 days,

except for bonding leave immediately following pregnancy disability

Benefit Formula

80% of EAWW* =< 50% of SAWW, plus

50% of EAWW > 50% of SAWW

* Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,487.78

$1,694.24

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$850

$1,084.31

Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid

.75% Total Contribution

.62% Medical, .13% Family Care

.68% Total Contribution

.56% Medical, .12% Family Care

Maximum Employee Contribution Rate

378%

(.248% Medical, .13% Family Care)


Employers with <25 covered individuals are not required to pay the Employer Portion of the Medical contribution.

.344%

(.224% Medical, .12% Family Care)


Employers with <25 covered individuals are not required to pay the Employer Portion of the Medical contribution.

Maximum Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

$142,800

$147,000

Maximum Contribution

$1,071 Total

(~$539.78 Employee)

per year

$999.60

(~$505.68 Employee)

per year

Financial Eligibility Test

$5,400

$5,700

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as notice to be provided at hire (2022 versions available)

* EAWW = Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined by each law; SAWW = State Average Weekly Wage


New Hampshire

Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI)

Voluntary for private employers; benefits entitlement begins January 1, 2023.


New Jersey

Temporary Disability Insurance (NJ TDI) and Family Leave Insurance (NJ FLI)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

TDI: 26 weeks

FLI: 12 weeks

No Change

Waiting Period

TDI: 7 days*

FLI: None

* Except for bone/organ donation and during state of emergency; payment is retroactive if disability lasts longer than 21 days

Benefit Percentage

85%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$903

$993

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,291.42

$1,419.52

Employee Taxable Wage Base

$138,200

$151,900

Employee Contribution Rate

NJ TDI is Employee- and Employer-Paid, Employer contribution rate varies;

NJ FLI is Employee-Paid

TDI: .47% of taxable wages

FLI: .28% of taxable wages

TDI: .14% of taxable wages

FLI: .14% of taxable wages

Maximum Employee Contribution

TDI: $649.54

FLI: $386.96

per year

TDI: $212.66

FLI: $212.66

per year

Employer Taxable Wage Base

$36,200

$39,800

Alternative Earnings Test

$11,000

$12,000

Base Week Amount

$220

$240

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as notice at hire and the time of need for leave

(2022 versions not yet available as of 12/3/21)

Employers with self-funded private plans must also post an "Annual Notice to Employees”. This notice must be updated annually and a copy sent to the Private Plan Compliance Section. A sample is included in the Self-Insured Private Plan Guide.


New York

Disability Benefits Law (NY DBL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 weeks

Max. 26 weeks in a 52-week

period combined with NY PFL

No Change

Waiting Period

DBL: 7 days

Benefit Percentage

50%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$170

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid; Employer pays any balance required

.5%

Maximum Employee Contribution

$31.20 per year

Required Notice

Posted Notice of Compliance (DBL-120 for insured plans) or Certificate of Participation in Group Disability Self-Insurance (DB-120.2 for self-funded plans), as well as a Statement of Rights (DB-271S) provided at time of need for leave.


New York

Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

12 weeks

Max. 26 weeks in a 52-week period combined with NY DBL

No Change

Waiting Period

None

Benefit Percentage

67%

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,450.17

$1,594.57

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$971.61

$1,068.36

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

.511%

No Change

Maximum Employee Contribution

$385.34 per year

$423.71 per year

Required Notice

Posted Notice of Compliance (PFL-120 for insured plans, employers with self-funded plans may request from NY WCB) as well as a Statement of Rights (PFL-271S) provided at time of need for leave.


Oregon

Paid Family and Medical Leave (OR PFML)

Contributions begin January 1, 2023; benefits entitlement begins September 3, 2023.


Puerto Rico

SINOT

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 weeks

No Changes

Waiting Period

7 days,

except for hospitalization

Benefit Percentage

65%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$113

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and employer-paid

.6% of first $9,000 of earnings

Maximum Contribution

.3% of first $9,000 of earnings

$27 per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as individual certificate/notice of benefits


Rhode Island

Temporary Disability Insurance (RI TDI) and Temporary Caregiver Insurance (RI TCI)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

TDI: 30 weeks

TCI: 4 weeks

Combined maximum: 30 weeks in a 52-week period

TDI: 30 weeks

TCI: 5 weeks

(further increases to 6 weeks 1/1/2023)

Combined maximum: 30 weeks in a 52-week period

Waiting Period

TDI: None*

TCI: None

* Benefits are paid retroactively to first day if disability lasts at least 7 days

No Change

Benefit Percentage

4.62% of wages paid in the highest quarter of the Base Period

No Change Anticipated

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$978; $1,320 with dependency allowance

(7/1/21 - 6/30/22)

Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

1.3%

1.1%

Taxable Wage Base

$74,000

$81,500

Maximum Employee Contribution

$962.00 per year

$896.50 per year

Financial Eligibility Test

$13,800 in Base Period earnings; or

(1)  $2,300 in at least one Base Period quarter

(2)  Base Period taxable wages at least 1.5x highest quarter of earnings and

(3)  $4,600 of taxable wages in Base Period

(10/1/20)

No Change

Required Notice

Worksite poster

(2022 version of the Combination Poster not yet available as of 12/22/21; check back here)


Washington

Paid Family and Medical Leave (WA PFML)
2022

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 12 weeks; +2 weeks for pregnancy incapacity (PI)

Family Care: 12 weeks

Combined maximum: 16 weeks in a 52-week period (18 weeks w/PI)

No Change

Waiting Period

7 days,

except for bonding leave or

qualifying exigency

Benefit Formula


• If EAWW* =< 1/2 SAWW: 90%

• If EAWW > 1/2 SAWW: 90% of 1/2 of the SAWW plus 50% of the difference of the EAWW and 1/2 of the SAWW

* Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,340

$1,475

Maximum Weekly Benefit

Based on 90% of SAWW

$1,206

$1,327

Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid

.4% Total Contribution

.6% Total Contribution

Maximum Employee Contribution Rate

63.33% of Total Contribution

(~.2533% of wages)

73.22% of Total Contribution

(~.4393% of wages)

Maximum Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

$147,000

Maximum Contribution

$571.20 Total

(~$361.74 Employee)

per year

$882 Total

(~$645.80 Employee)

per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as Statement of Employee Rights (“Employer to Employee Notice”)

at the time of need for leave (2022 version of the poster is available)

Other News

Allegheny County, PA Paid Sick Leave – Update

Our October 8 Statutory Update included the announcement of accrued paid sick time requirements in Allegheny County, PA.  As noted, the ordinance’s text indicated that the new law would become effective “on the 90th calendar day following the posting of the notice information for employers”.  Last week the county released the Paid Sick Leave Notice, which indicates an effective date of December 15, 2021. While this date may come as a bit of a surprise for employers assuming they would have more time to implement, the county’s FAQ refer to Section 2408(C) of the ordinance, which states that fines will not be imposed for violations for one year after the ordinance’s effective date.

Per Section 11 of the guidelines posted on the county’s Administrative Services website, the Notice must be displayed in a conspicuous and accessible location where any employees work, in English, Spanish, and any other primary languages of the employees at that particular workplace. For employees who work remotely or do not have a regular workplace, the employer may provide the Notice on an individual basis in each employee’s primary language in a physical or electronic format that is reasonably conspicuous and accessible.

The guidelines also recommend that employers provide updated amounts of paid sick time available on regular payroll statements or in an online system where employees can access the information.

Washington Long Term Care Premium Collection Delayed

On December 17 Governor Jay Inslee, in conjunction with Democratic leaders within the state’s legislature, announced the decision to delay WA Cares Fund premium collection scheduled to begin January 1, 2022.  The pause will allow legislators the opportunity to address raised concerns and make adjustments to the law during the 2022 legislative session, as well as consider upcoming recommendations from the Long Term Care Commission.

Governor Inslee’s statement included that he is “taking measures within my authority and ordering the state Employment Security Department not to collect the premiums from this program from employers before they come due in April. My actions mean that the state will not collect those funds until the Legislature sorts through these issues.” He further indicated that employers will not be subject to penalties and interest for not withholding premiums during this period.

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins added the following: “In addition to delaying the premium assessment, we also support employers pausing premium collections from employees in Washington so lawmakers can take necessary action. While we cannot direct employers not to collect, we strongly encourage them to pause on collecting premiums from employees, giving us time to pass legislation extending implementation dates until next year.” 

We will continue to monitor and provide updates as information becomes available. Visit https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/learn-more/ for more information.

Please contact your Trion Account Team members with specific questions about these or other updates. 

No part of this document may be reproduced, quoted, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system), without express, prior permission, in writing from Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Copyright © 2021 Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company. All rights reserved.

Statutory Update – COVID-19 Legislation; PFML Updates & 2022 Benefits/Rates, West Hollywood Accrued Leave, WA LTC

December 3, 2021

COVID-19 Legislation

State and Local

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Updates

Below are a few updates since our last summary on October 8:

  • Fairfax, CA: On September 1, Fairfax, CA’s Town Council passed Ordinance No. 857, requiring employers with 25 or fewer employees (i.e., employers not covered by the state’s SPSL requirements) to provide ‘COVID-10 Supplemental Sick Leave’ to their employees.  The ordinance was effective immediately and expired September 30, 2021.
  • Long Beach, CA: Long Beach’s ordinance has no set expiration date; rather, the ordinance’s status is re-evaluated by the City Council every 90 days. On November 1 the Council issued its recommendation that Supplemental Paid Sick Leave requirements sunset on December 31, 2021.
  • Colorado: In effect until the end of “any and all” public health emergencies; the national PHE determination was last renewed effective October 18.
  • District of Columbia: Paid Public Health Emergency Leave applied through November 5, 2021 (see new Vaccination Leave requirements below).

Please see our side-by-side comparison for more details on each of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave laws.

Other COVID-19 Legislation

District of Columbia Vaccination Leave and DC FMLA Amendment

On November 18 D.C.’s mayor signed the COVID Vaccination Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0404 / D.C. Act 24-209).  The Act:

  1. Effective immediately, temporarily amends the District’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA) to include paid leave for reasons associated with a COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Applies to: All employers, except D.C. government and public charter schools; and All employees who have worked for the employer for at least 15 days prior to the request for leave.
    • Amount of Leave:
      • 2 hours per injection for the employee’s or a child’s* vaccination (including booster);
      • 8 hours per injection during the 24 hours following the 2-hour vaccination leave, for the employee’s recovery of symptoms or to care for a child* recovering from symptoms;
      • Maximum 48 hours in a year, beginning on the Act’s effective date.

* “Child” is defined as a child under age 18 who lives with the employee and for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility, or a foster child under age 18.

    • Rate of Pay: Greater of the employee’s regular rate of pay or D.C. minimum wage. 
    • Leave is in addition to any paid time otherwise accrued under ASSLA, as well as paid leave provided by an employer via policy, contract or collective bargaining agreement unless the employer provides equivalent paid leave for COVID-19 vaccination and recovery that does not reduce other available paid leave.  Leave requirements may not be waived or reduced by collective bargaining agreement.
    • Employers may require documentation from an employee who takes leave, such as a vaccination record, but may not require the employee to provide more than 48 hours’ notice prior to leave, or to find a replacement worker during the hours leave will be taken.
  1. Effective November 5, 2021, extends and expands requirements for unpaid “COVID-19 Leave” under the District’s Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA) originally established in 2020.
    • Individuals employed for at least 30 days prior to the request for leave are eligible to take up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave in the two-year period beginning November 18, 2021, if they are unable to work because they:
      1. Have tested positive for COVID-19 or are caring for a family member or individual with whom they share a household who has tested positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine pursuant to Department of Health guidelines (this is an addition to the 2020 leave reasons);
      2. Have a recommendation from a health care provider or a directive from an employer that they isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, including because they or an individual with whom they share a household are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19;
      3. Must care for a family member or an individual with whom they share a household who is isolating or quarantining pursuant to Department of Health guidance, the recommendation of a health care provider, or the order or policy of the family member’s or individual’s school or childcare provider; or
      4. Must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable to the employee due to COVID-19.
    • Employers may request reasonable documentation consistent with the reason for need for leave.
    • Reasonable advance notice may be required for foreseeable leave.  For leave that is not foreseeable, notice must be provided as soon as practicable, but may not be required fewer than 24 hours after leave is taken.
    • Any paid leave provided by an employer that the employee elects to use for leave under the Act will count against the total workweeks of COVID-19 Leave available.
    • Employees may elect to use leave provided under the Act before other leave to which the employee is entitled under the employer’s policies, or under federal or District law, unless prohibited by federal or District law.
    • DC FMLA’s employment and benefits protections apply during COVID-19 Leave.
    • The Act’s requirements do not supersede any clause regarding family and medical leave contained in a collective bargaining agreement in force as of the Act’s effective date.
    • An updated DC FMLA poster is anticipated.

As emergency legislation, the Act will remain in effect for 90 days (until February 3, 2022) unless it is extended by temporary or permanent legislation.

New York Vaccination Leave – Updated Guidance

The New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) recently released updated FAQ confirming that the 4 hours of leave per COVID-19 vaccine injection under the state’s Vaccination Leave law may be used to obtain a booster shot. Previously covered in our March 17 and April 9 Statutory Updates, the law is set to expire December 31, 2022.

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

Federal

Status of Federal Paid Family and Medical Leave

On November 19 the House of Representatives passed the revised Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), which features a pared-down version of the originally proposed 12 weeks of ‘Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave’.  The current proposal features four weeks of paid family and medical leave with a maximum benefit of approximately $800 per week, beginning in 2024. The proposal also provides for reimbursements to “legacy” states that already have a PFML program in place, and grants to employers who offer equivalent benefits to their employees.

The Act is now in the hands of the Senate, where it likely faces further changes – these changes may include yet another version of paid leave, or its removal from the Act altogether. We will continue to monitor and report updates.

State and Local

Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates

Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave (CT PFML) – Updates and Reminders

Benefit Applications are Now Being Accepted

Beginning December 1, 2021, employees may submit applications for CT PFML benefits for leaves occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

Employees may apply with Aflac online (recommended), or via phone, fax or mail.  In order to file online, employees must first create an account on CT.gov; the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (CT PLA) has provided written instructions as well as an instructional video to assist with this process. 

CT PLA has added updated content to the CT Paid Leave website, including:

Private Plans

The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (CT PLA) recently posted an updated version of the Private Plan Policy and Procedures document outlining the requirements and process surrounding exemption from the CT PFML state program via a private plan. 

Private plans:

    • may be insured through an approved carrier or self-funded;
    • Self-funded plan applications must be accompanied by a surety bond in an amount equal to the estimated total yearly contributions that would otherwise be owed to the state fund.
    • must be approved via vote by 50% +1 of the number of employees working in Connecticut prior to application submission;
    • may be applied for on a rolling basis, and become effective the first day of the calendar quarter following approval;
    • Separate applications are required per Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
    • Applications must be approved by CT PLA at least 30 calendar days before the end of the quarter prior to the quarter in which the approval takes effect in order for the employer’s obligation to remit contributions to the state fund is waived.  For example, in order for contributions to be waived for the quarter beginning on April 1, 2022, the application must be approved by CT PLA no later than March 1, 2022.
    • renew every 3 years unless material changes are made (surety bonds must be updated every year).

For more information and resources, visit the CT PFML Private Plan webpage.

New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) Amendment – Covered Family Members

On November 1 the governor of New York signed S2928A, which adds siblings as covered family members under NY PFL effective January 1, 2023. The definition of “sibling” includes biological, adoptive, half- and step- relationships.   

2022 Benefits and Rates

California
State Disability Insurance (CA SDI) and Paid Family Leave (CA PFL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

SDI: 52 weeks
PFL: 8 weeks

No Change

Waiting Period

SDI: 7 days

PFL: None

No Change

Benefit Percentage

• If High Quarter earnings < 1/3 of the State’s Average Quarterly Wage (SAQW): 70%
• If High Quarter earnings => 1/3 of the SAQW: 60%
(SAQW = 13x SAWW)

No Change

Under AB908 (2016, effective 1/1/2018), the benefit level was to revert back to 55% effective 1/1/2022; this timeline was extended to 1/1/2023 by AB138, approved 7/16/2021.

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,383

$1,570

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$1,357

$1,540

Contribution Rate
Employee-Paid

1.2%

1.1%

Taxable Wage Ceiling

$128,298

$145,600

Maximum Employee Contribution

$1,539.58 per year

$1,601.60 per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster (Notice to Employees) as well as

notice (DE 2515 and DE 2511) at hire and the time of need for leave


Colorado

Paid Family and Medical Leave (CO PFML)

Contributions begin January 1, 2023; benefits entitlement begins January 1, 2024.



Connecticut

Paid Family and Medical Leave (CT PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Benefits begin January 1, 2022

12 weeks, +2 weeks for employee’s pregnancy incapacity (PI)

Family Violence: 12 days

Benefit Percentage

95% of the employee’s Base Weekly Earnings

equal to or less than 40 times the Minimum Fair Wage,

plus 60% of the employee’s Base Weekly Earnings

above 40 times the Minimum Fair Wage

Minimum Fair Wage (MFW)

$13/hour (eff. 8/1/21)

Maximum Weekly Benefit (60x MFW)

$780

Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

.5%

No Change

Taxable Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

Not yet released

Maximum Employee Contribution

$714 per year

TBD – linked to SSA Maximum Wage Base

Required Notice

Employee notice requirements are not set to begin until July 1, 2022; however, employers may want to utilize materials posted on the CT PFML Employer Page to inform their employees about program benefits beginning January 1.


District of Columbia

Paid Family and Medical Leave (DC PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 2 weeks

(increased to 6 weeks for leave beginning 9/26/21 through 9/30/22)

Pre-natal Medical Leave: 2 weeks

(new, for claims filed 10/1/21 through 9/30/22)

Family Care: 6 weeks

Bonding: 8 weeks

Combined maximum: 8 weeks in a 52-week period

(potential for 10 weeks Pre-natal and Parental combined)

Waiting Period

7 days

Waived for claims filed after 10/1/21 until approximately 7/24/22

Benefit Formula

• If EAWW* =< 150% of DC min. wage x 40: 90%

• If EAWW > 150% of DC min. wage x 40: 90% of 150% of DC min. wage x 40 plus 50% of the difference of the EAWW and 150% of DC min. wage x 40

* Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined

No Change

DC Minimum Wage

$15/hour

$15.20/hour (eff. 7/1/21)

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$1,000 (leave beginning before 9/25/21)

$1,009 (leave beginning on or after 9/26/21 – see Public Notice)

Contribution Rate

Employer-Paid

.62%

No Change

Maximum Contribution

No maximum

No Change

Required Notice

Notice posted and provided at hire, annually and at the time of need for leave.  The '2021' Notice is dated 12/2021 and includes the changes effective ~10/1/2021 outlined in our October 8 Update.


Hawaii

Temporary Disability Insurance (HI TDI)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 Weeks

No Change

Waiting Period

7 Days

Benefit Percentage

58%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$640

$697

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid; Employer pays any balance required

Up to ½ of plan costs, max .5%

No Change

Maximum Weekly Wage Base

$1,102.90

$1,200.30

Maximum Employee Contribution

$5.51 per week

$6.00 per week

Required Notice


Massachusetts

Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 20 weeks

Family Care: 12 weeks

Bonding or Qualifying Exigency: 12 weeks

Injured Servicemember: 26 weeks

Combined maximum: 26 weeks in a 52-week period

No Change

Waiting Period

7 days,

except for bonding leave immediately following pregnancy disability

Benefit Formula

80% of EAWW* =< 50% of SAWW, plus

50% of EAWW > 50% of SAWW

* Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,487.78

$1,694.24

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$850

$1,084.31

Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid

.75% Total Contribution

.62% Medical, .13% Family Care

.68% Total Contribution

.56% Medical, .12% Family Care

Maximum Employee Contribution Rate

378%

(.248% Medical, .13% Family Care)


Employers with <25 covered individuals are not required to pay the Employer Portion of the Medical contribution.

.344%

(.224% Medical, .12% Family Care)


Employers with <25 covered individuals are not required to pay the Employer Portion of the Medical contribution.

Maximum Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

$142,800

$147,000

Maximum Contribution

$1,071 Total

(~$539.78 Employee)

per year

$999.60

(~$505.68 Employee)

per year

Financial Eligibility Test

$5,400

$5,700

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as notice to be provided at hire (2022 versions available)

* EAWW = Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined by each law; SAWW = State Average Weekly Wage


New Hampshire

Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI)

Voluntary for private employers; benefits entitlement begins January 1, 2023.


New Jersey

Temporary Disability Insurance (NJ TDI) and Family Leave Insurance (NJ FLI)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

TDI: 26 weeks

FLI: 12 weeks

No Change

Waiting Period

TDI: 7 days*

FLI: None

* Except for bone/organ donation and during state of emergency; payment is retroactive if disability lasts longer than 21 days

Benefit Percentage

85%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$903

$993

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,291.42

$1,419.52

Employee Taxable Wage Base

$138,200

$151,900

Employee Contribution Rate

NJ TDI is Employee- and Employer-Paid, Employer contribution rate varies;

NJ FLI is Employee-Paid

TDI: .47% of taxable wages

FLI: .28% of taxable wages

TDI: .14% of taxable wages

FLI: .14% of taxable wages

Maximum Employee Contribution

TDI: $649.54

FLI: $386.96

per year

TDI: $212.66

FLI: $212.66

per year

Employer Taxable Wage Base

$36,200

$39,800

Alternative Earnings Test

$11,000

$12,000

Base Week Amount

$220

$240

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as notice at hire and the time of need for leave

(2022 versions not yet available as of 12/3/21)

Employers with self-funded private plans must also post an "Annual Notice to Employees”. This notice must be updated annually and a copy sent to the Private Plan Compliance Section. A sample is included in the Self-Insured Private Plan Guide.


New York

Disability Benefits Law (NY DBL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 weeks

Max. 26 weeks in a 52-week

period combined with NY PFL

No Change

Waiting Period

DBL: 7 days

Benefit Percentage

50%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$170

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid; Employer pays any balance required

.5%

Maximum Employee Contribution

$31.20 per year

Required Notice

Posted Notice of Compliance (DBL-120 for insured plans) or Certificate of Participation in Group Disability Self-Insurance (DB-120.2 for self-funded plans), as well as a Statement of Rights (DB-271S) provided at time of need for leave.


New York

Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

12 weeks

Max. 26 weeks in a 52-week period combined with NY DBL

No Change

Waiting Period

None

Benefit Percentage

67%

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,450.17

$1,594.57

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$971.61

$1,068.36

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

.511%

No Change

Maximum Employee Contribution

$385.34 per year

$423.71 per year

Required Notice

Posted Notice of Compliance (PFL-120 for insured plans, employers with self-funded plans may request from NY WCB) as well as a Statement of Rights (PFL-271S) provided at time of need for leave.


Oregon

Paid Family and Medical Leave (OR PFML)

Contributions begin January 1, 2023; benefits entitlement begins September 3, 2023.


Puerto Rico

SINOT

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 weeks

No Changes

Waiting Period

7 days,

except for hospitalization

Benefit Percentage

65%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$113

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and employer-paid

.6% of first $9,000 of earnings

Maximum Contribution

.3% of first $9,000 of earnings

$27 per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as individual certificate/notice of benefits


Rhode Island

Temporary Disability Insurance (RI TDI) and Temporary Caregiver Insurance (RI TCI)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

TDI: 30 weeks

TCI: 4 weeks

Combined maximum: 30 weeks in a 52-week period

TDI: 30 weeks

TCI: 5 weeks

(further increases to 6 weeks 1/1/2023)

Combined maximum: 30 weeks in a 52-week period

Waiting Period

TDI: None*

TCI: None

* Benefits are paid retroactively to first day if disability lasts at least 7 days

No Change

Benefit Percentage

4.62% of wages paid in the highest quarter of the Base Period

No Change Anticipated

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$978; $1,320 with dependency allowance

(7/1/21 - 6/30/22)

Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

1.3%

Expected early December

Taxable Wage Base

$74,000

Maximum Employee Contribution

$962.00 per year

Financial Eligibility Test

$13,800 in Base Period earnings; or

(1)  $2,300 in at least one Base Period quarter

(2)  Base Period taxable wages at least 1.5x highest quarter of earnings and

(3)  $4,600 of taxable wages in Base Period

(10/1/20)

Required Notice

Worksite poster (an updated version is expected)

Washington

Paid Family and Medical Leave (WA PFML)
2022

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 12 weeks; +2 weeks for pregnancy incapacity (PI)

Family Care: 12 weeks

Combined maximum: 16 weeks in a 52-week period (18 weeks w/PI)

No Change

Waiting Period

7 days,

except for bonding leave or

qualifying exigency

Benefit Formula

• If EAWW* =< 1/2 SAWW: 90%

• If EAWW > 1/2 SAWW: 90% of 1/2 of the SAWW plus 50% of the difference of the EAWW and 1/2 of the SAWW

* Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,340

$1,475

Maximum Weekly Benefit

Based on 90% of SAWW

$1,206

$1,327

Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid

.4% Total Contribution

.6% Total Contribution

Maximum Employee Contribution Rate

63.33% of Total Contribution

(~.2533% of wages)

73.22% of Total Contribution

(~.4393% of wages)

Maximum Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

$147,000

Maximum Contribution

$571.20 Total

(~$361.74 Employee)

per year

$882 Total

(~$645.80 Employee)

per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as Statement of Employee Rights (“Employer to Employee Notice”) at the time of need for leave (2022 version of the poster is not yet available as of 12/3/21)

Other News

West Hollywood, CA Accrued Leave

Please see our June 10, 2022 post for updates to this law’s requirements.

On November 15 the City Council of West Hollywood adopted Ordinance No. 21-1168, adding Article 5, Chapter 5.130 to the city’s Municipal Code to establish a city-wide minimum wage, outline standards for payment of service charges to employees, and require employers to provide paid and unpaid leave to their employees.  The information below focuses on the leave portion of the ordinance, provisions of which closely resemble Los Angeles’ Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance; additional guidance may be supplied via regulations.

Effective Dates:

  • January 1, 2022, for hotel employers and employees (please refer to section 5.130.020.B of the ordinance for the definitions of “Hotel”, “Hotel Employer” and “Hotel Worker”);
  • July 1, 2022, for all other employers and employees.

Applies to:

  • All employers except for government agencies, including federal agencies, state agencies, cities, counties, school districts, and all other public entities;
  • All employees who perform at least two hours of work in a particular week within the geographic boundaries of the city of West Hollywood and who qualify as entitled to payment of a minimum wage from any employer under the California Labor Code and wage orders published by the California Industrial Welfare Commission (i.e., non-exempt employees).

Accrual and Reasons for Use:

  • Full-time employees (employees working 40 hours per week or classified as full-time under the employer’s policies, if more generous) will accrue:
      • 1.85 hours of paid leave per week of employment (expressed as 96/52 hours in the ordinance), up to a maximum of 96 hours per year, to be used for “sick leave, vacation or personal necessity”; and
      • 1.54 hours of unpaid leave per week of employment (expressed as 80/52 hours in the ordinance), up to a maximum of 80 hours per year, be used as sick leave for the employee’s or an immediate family member’s illness if the employee has exhausted his or her accrued paid time off for that year. (The ordinance does not define “immediate family member”.).
  • Employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week (or not classified as full-time under the employer’s policies) accrue time in increments proportional to the full-time accrual above.
  • Time does not accrue on work hours exceeding 40 hours per week.

Note: The ordinance does not specify (1) when leave accrual begins, though the later of the ordinance’s effective date or the commencement of employment is assumed; or (2) whether this time accrues only during hours worked within the city.

Use:

  • Employees may begin using accrued time after 6 months of employment, or consistent with company policies, whichever is sooner. 

Carryover:

  • Accrued paid time carries over from one year to the next, until time off reaches 192 hours. Accrued unpaid time carries over from one year to the next, until time off reaches 80 hours.

Note: After an Employee reaches the 192-hour maximum for paid leave, the employer must provide a cash payment once every 30 days for accrued time over the maximum. 

Employers may provide employees with the option of cashing out a portion, or all, of their accrued paid time off under the maximum, but may not require employees to take advantage of this option.

Accrued paid time off cashed out must be paid out at the employee’s current rate of pay.

Payout at Termination: Not specified.

Note: California State’s paid sick time law does not require payout of accrued but unused time upon separation of employment, nor do the similar local ordinances. However, given paid time under the West Hollywood ordinance may be used for reasons other than sick leave, and CA state law otherwise requires payout of vacation time (or PTO) when employment ends, payout of paid time accrued under the West Hollywood ordinance may be required. Regulations may clarify. 

Employee Protections:

Employers are prohibited from:

  • unreasonably denying an employee’s request to use accrued paid time off;
  • taking any adverse action against any employee who exercises or attempts to exercise the rights provided under the ordinance; or
  • funding the wages and benefits required under the ordinance by reducing the pension, vacation, or other non-wage benefits of any employee or by increasing charges to employees for parking, uniforms, meals, or other work-related materials or equipment.

Notice and Recordkeeping:

  • A bulletin published by the city outlining the current minimum wage rate and of employee’s rights under the ordinance must be provided to new hires and posted conspicuously in English, Spanish, and any other language spoken by at least 5% of employees.
  • Payroll records must be retained for three years.

Collective Bargaining Agreements:   

The ordinance’s requirements may be waived in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement, but only if the waiver is explicitly set forth in such agreement in clear and unambiguous terms and bilaterally implemented.

Washington Long Term Care – Reminder

Contributions toward Washington State’s long term care program, WA Cares, begin January 1, 2022.  Employees contribute .58% of their wages; there is no cap on applicable wages, nor is there a maximum contribution amount. Employers are not required to contribute. 

More information may be found in our May 19 Statutory Update and on the WA Cares Fund website.

Please contact your Trion Account Team members with specific questions about these or other updates.

No part of this document may be reproduced, quoted, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system), without express, prior permission, in writing from Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Copyright © 2021 Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company. All rights reserved.

Statutory Update – COVID-19 Legislation; PFML Updates & 2022 Benefits/Rates, CFRA, Allegheny Cty PA PST & More

October 8, 2021

COVID-19 Legislation

Federal

Expiration of Tax Credits for Voluntary FFCRA Leave

Tax credits offered under the American Rescue Plan Act, available to employers who voluntarily provided Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave following the expiration of FFCRA, ended on September 30

State and Local

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

Status of State and Local EPSL Laws   

The following EPSL Ordinances expired September 30, 2021:

    • California State: Any employee on EPSL on September 30 may finish taking leave.  Note: Exclusion pay under Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) is still in effect – for more information on the ETS’ requirements see the CA Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) dedicated webpage and accompanying FAQ. 
    • Marin County, CA
    • San Anselmo, CA: Adopted by urgency ordinance August 16, expired September 30.
    • Santa Rosa, CA
    • Sonoma County, CA

The following EPSL laws are still in effect:

    • Long Beach, CA: No set expiration date, the ordinance’s status is re-evaluated by the City Council every 90 days. The last recommendation for extension was released on May 14, with the next review to be completed by September 4.  As of today no sunset date has been set.
    • Los Angeles City, CA: Expires two weeks following the end of the local emergency period, which is still in effect. 
    • Los Angeles County, CA: Expires two weeks following the end of the local emergency period, which is still in effect. 
    • Oakland, CA: Sunsets upon expiration of the city’s March 9, 2020, Declaration of COVID-19 Emergency, which is still in effect.
    • Colorado: In effect until the end of “any and all” public health emergencies; the national PHE was last renewed on July 19.
    • District of Columbia: Extended through November 5, 2021.
    • Massachusetts: Extended on September 29 via HB4127, to expire upon the earlier of exhaustion of the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Fund or April 1, 2022. The extension provides no new leave entitlement, but does add to the reasons for use the need for an employee to care for a covered family member who is obtaining or recovering from a COVID-19 vaccination. Updated information, including guidance for employers regarding obtaining reimbursement, has been posted on the state’s dedicated webpage.
    • Nevada (Hospitality): No specified end date.
    • New York: In effect for the duration of COVID-19 quarantine or isolation orders.
    • Pittsburgh, PA: Effective until July 27, 2022.
    • Seattle, WA (Gig Workers): Effective until 180 days after the termination of COVID-19 civil emergency declaration applicable to the city. 

Please see our side-by-side comparison for more details on each of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave laws.

Vaccination Leave Updates
  • Los Angeles City, CA: The city’s COVID-19 Vaccine Leave expired September 30 (see our July 16 Statutory Update for more details).
  • Los Angeles County: The expiration of the county’s COVID-19 Vaccine Leave was delayed from August 31 to 14 days after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency (see our June 10 Update for more details). The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) has posted an updated version of the poster to be displayed conspicuously at each worksite.
Other COVID-19 Legislation
California State Disability Insurance (CA SDI) – Waiting Period Reinstatement

In our March 20, 2020, Update we noted that the governor of California waived the one-week waiting period for CA SDI benefits via Executive Order N-25-20. On June 11, 2021, he signed Executive Order N-08-21, reinstating the waiting period for claims with a start date on or after October 1, 2021.

District of Columbia Paid Family and Medical Leave (DC PFML) and DC FMLA Changes

On September 27 D.C.’s mayor signed the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Support Act of 2021 (B24-0285/D.C. Act 24-176), an omnibus bill that includes amendments to the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (DC PFML) and the DC FMLA. Following the standard 30-day congressional review period and publication in the D.C. Register, the changes below apply as of October 1, 2021*.

* These changes were originally introduced in the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Support Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0373/D.C. Act 24-159), passed as emergency legislation on August 23.  

Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (DC PFML):

Temporarily amends the definition of “Average Weekly Wage”:

  • Current: “Average Weekly Wage” is the total wages subject to contribution earned during 4 out of the 5 quarters immediately preceding the qualifying event during which the employee’s wages were highest, divided by 52.
  • Under the amendment: For claims filed after October 1, 2021, and before the 365th day after the end of the public health emergency, the term “average weekly wage” means the total wages subject to contribution for the 4 quarters during which the individual’s wages were the highest out of the 10 quarters immediately preceding the qualifying leave event, divided by 52.  “Public health emergency” means the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency declared pursuant to Mayor’s Order 2020-046 on March 11, 2020, and all subsequent extensions. Note: Mayor’s Order 2021-096 terminated the public health emergency as of July 25, 2021.

Leave Entitlement:

  • Increases leave entitlement for claims filed October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022:
    • Extends the maximum duration of leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition from 2 weeks to 6 weeks*.
        • Also adds that a serious health condition includes occurrence of stillbirth (loss of pregnancy at or after 20 weeks) and medical care associated with miscarriage (loss of pregnancy before 20 weeks).
    • Adds 2 weeks of leave for “pre-natal medical care”, defined as routine and specialty appointments, exams, and treatments associated with a pregnancy provided by a health care provider, including pre-natal check-ups, ultrasounds, treatment for pregnancy complications, bedrest that is required or prescribed by a health care provider, and pre-natal physical therapy. 
    • Durations for parental leave (8 weeks) and family care leave (6 weeks) are unchanged.

* Note: The Mayor’s Office recently released a Public Notice indicating that the increased duration for medical leave applies to claims with approved leave beginning on or after September 26, 2021. Individuals who have already filed a medical leave claim and have been approved for the previous maximum of 2 weeks of paid medical leave benefits may be eligible for up to an additional 4 weeks of medical leave, for a total of 6 weeks. These individuals must file a new medical leave claim with requested leave dates that begin on or after September 26, 2021 and provide documentation showing a medical reason for taking the additional leave.  It was also announced that the weekly benefit maximum will increase from $1,000 to $1,009 for all types of DC PFML leave beginning on or after September 26, 2021.

  • Within a 52-workweek period, an eligible individual may not receive paid leave benefits, for any number or combination of qualifying leave events, for a duration that exceeds the maximum duration of qualifying parental leave available in the fiscal year during which the individual files a claim for paid leave benefits – except that
  • Within a 52-workweek period, an eligible individual may receive the maximum duration of qualifying pre-natal leave available in the fiscal year during which the individual files a claim for paid-leave benefits in addition to the maximum duration of parental leave available during such fiscal year (e., the potential for 10 weeks pre-natal plus parental leave); provided, that an eligible individual may not receive any combination of qualifying pre-natal leave and qualifying medical leave for a duration that exceeds the maximum duration of qualifying medical leave available for the fiscal year during which the individual files a claim for paid-leave benefits.

Waives the 1-week waiting period for claims filed after October 1, 2021, and before the 365th day after the end of the public health emergency (defined above).

Adds that an eligible individual may receive retroactive paid-leave benefits if they submit a claim within 30 calendar days after the qualifying leave event, unless prevented from doing so due to exigent circumstances. “Exigent circumstances” means:

  • Physical or mental incapacity that prevents an eligible individual or eligible individual’s authorized representative from filing for paid leave benefits following the occurrence of a qualifying leave event;
  • A demonstrable inability to reasonably access the means by which a claim could have been filed by the eligible individual or the eligible individual’s authorized representative following the occurrence of a qualifying leave event; or 
  • Actual lack of knowledge by an eligible individual of their right to apply for paid leave benefits pursuant to this act due their employer’s noncompliance with the law’s requirements (such “noncompliance” must be confirmed by the Mayor).

Puts forth that each March 1, beginning in 2022, the CFO of the Paid Leave Fund will certify the Fund’s balance and projected revenues and expenditures, and the resulting impact on employer contributions (reduction if warranted, but not to be increased above the current .62% of wages) and potential for expansion of program benefits. Any change in contributions or benefits would be applied as of July 1, but only if the change would not cause the Fund’s balance to fall below the equivalent of 9 months of benefits.  The plan for expansion of program benefits is prioritized, with the initiation of pre-natal leave on a permanent basis, and then incremental increases to entitlements for medical, parental and family leave until the maximum duration for each ultimately reaches 12 weeks (again, only if possible given the results of each year’s financial review).

Permanently prohibits employers who sponsor Short Term Disability (STD) policies from reducing plan benefits by any benefit amount payable under DC PFML.  As summarized in our June 10 Update, this restriction was originally passed under B24-0185/D.C. Act 24-90 and B24-0186/D.C. Act 24-97 (now D.C. Law 24-18) as temporary legislation, and applies to all insured STD programs, regardless of contract situs.

Notice to Employees: The Department of Employment Services (DOES) will provide an updated poster, which will be made available by late fall. The poster must be conspicuously displayed in the premises at which any covered employee is employed by February 1, 2022.

District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA):

Permanently amends the definition of “Employee”:

Current: “Employee” means any individual who has:

  1. been employed by the same employer for 1 year without a break in service except for regular holiday, sick, or personal leave granted by the employer; and
  2. worked at least 1,000 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the request for family or medical leave.

Under the amendment:  “Employee” means:

  1. For leave provided [to bond with a new child, or due the employee’s or a family member’s serious health condition], an individual who has:

a. been employed by the same employer for at least 12 consecutive or non-consecutive months, inclusive of holiday, sick, or personal leave granted by the employer as part of its regular benefits whether such leave was paid or unpaid, in the 7 years immediately preceding the date on which the period of family or medical leave is to commence; and

b.  worked at least 1,000 hours for the employer during the 12-month period referenced in (a.) above preceding the date on which the period of family or medical leave is to commence.

      2. For leave provided under [temporary COVID-19 DC FMLA leave, currently effective until November 5, 2021], an individual employed by an employer for at least 30 days prior to the request for leave.

Note: Even with the amendment described in #1 above, there are still differences in DC FMLA eligibility vs. federal FMLA: 

  • Federal FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius; DC FMLA applies to employers with 20 or more employees (no change there);
  • The 12 months of employment under DC FMLA is based on consecutive or non-consecutive months over the 7-year period preceding the start of leave; federal FMLA considers all of an employee’s service with the employer, except that, with certain exceptions, periods prior to a break in service of 7 years or more need not be counted; and
  • According to the new law’s text, DC FMLA measures the hours threshold over the entire 7-year period prior to leave; federal FMLA’s hours threshold (1,250) is measured only during the 12 months immediately preceding the start of leave.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML) – Eligibility for Remote Workers

In our January 12 Update we summarized the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Technical Information Release (TIR) 20-10 and TIR 20-15, which addressed the applicability of MA PFML contributions and eligibility to employees temporarily working remotely due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. On September 13 the Massachusetts Department of Revenue updated its related FAQ to reflect that, “after September 13, 2021, wages paid to a non-resident employee will no longer be sourced based on where the employee worked prior to the COVID-19 state of emergency. Instead, the wages for such period will generally be sourced based on where the employee’s work is actually performed.

Non-COVID-19 Legislation

Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates

Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave (CT PFML) – Reminders
  • Contributions for the third quarter of 2021 must be remitted no later than October 31.
  • Benefits under the CT PFML program begin January 1, 2022.  The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (CT PLA) has communicated that eligible employees will be able to begin filing for benefits in December.  Instructions for claim filing have not yet been released, though they are expected shortly.  This guidance may be released by CT PLA or the program’s administrator, Aflac. See the 2022 Benefits and Rates table below for more details on CT PFML benefit amounts; more information can be found on the official CT PFML website.
  • While employee notice requirements are not set to begin until July 1, 2022, employers may want to utilize materials posted on the CT PFML Employer Page to inform their employees about program benefits beginning January 1.

Connecticut Family and Medical Leave (CT FMLA) Changes

When the CT PFML law was passed in 2019 it included amendments to the state’s unpaid “FMLA-like” law, CT FMLA, to better align the two laws:

Provision

Current CT FMLA

Effective 1/1/2022

Employee Eligibility

12 months of employment and 1,000 hours of service during the 12-month period preceding the first day of leave

3 months of employment preceding the first day of leave; no minimum hours requirement

Employer Size

75 or more employees

One or more employees

Covered Family Members

Spouse/civil union partner, parent, parent-in-law, child under 18 or incapable of self-care

Spouse, child (any age), parent (including parent-in-law), sibling, grandparent or grandchild, or an individual related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee shows to be the equivalent of those family relationships

Leave Entitlement

16 weeks per 24-month period*

(26 weeks in a 12-month period for military caregiver)

12 weeks per 12-month period*;

additional two weeks for a serious health condition resulting in incapacitation that occurs during pregnancy;

no change to military caregiver entitlement.

Use of Paid Time during Unpaid Leave

Employee may elect, or employer may require employee, to substitute paid time off during a period of CT FMLA

Adds the requirement that the employer must allow the employee to retain two weeks of paid time off

* The Connecticut Department of Labor recently released guidance regarding the transition for employees on CT FMLA leave January 1 when entitlement changes from 16 weeks/24 months to 12 weeks/12 months.  The guidance asserts that if an employee begins CT FMLA leave prior to January 1, 2022, the duration of CT FMLA leave will be capped at 12 weeks in the applicable 12-month period as of January 1, even if the employee was approved for, and commenced, 16 weeks of CT FMLA leave in 2021In 2022, the employer can look back over the applicable 12-month period to see if the employee has used any leave to determine if they have time available. See the full guidance for more details, including methods for measuring the “applicable 12-month period”. Note that formal regulations, once released, may differ.

New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) Amendment – Intermittent Leave

On October 6 the New York Workers Compensation Board announced an amendment to the NY PFL regulations regarding intermittent leave entitlement.  Currently the regulations state that an employee’s maximum entitlement to NY PFL taken in daily increments is calculated using the employee’s average number of days worked per week multiplied by 12 (the maximum number of weeks for continuous leave), capped at 60 days per year.  Effective January 1, 2022, the amendment removes the 60-day cap, which has no impact on employees who normally work 5 or fewer days per week, but increases entitlement for those who normally work 6 or 7 days per week (i.e., someone who normally works 7 days per week would be entitled to 84 individual days of NY PFL in a 52-week period beginning January 1, 2022). 

2022 Benefits and Rates

The following information will be updated as each state releases their 2022 rates and benefit amounts.

Connecticut

Paid Family and Medical Leave (CT PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Benefits begin January 1, 2022

12 weeks, +2 weeks for employee’s pregnancy incapacity (PI)

Family Violence: 12 days

Benefit Percentage

95% of the employee’s Base Weekly Earnings

equal to or less than 40 times the Minimum Fair Wage,

plus 60% of the employee’s Base Weekly Earnings

above 40 times the Minimum Fair Wage

Minimum Fair Wage (MFW)

$13/hour (eff. 8/1/21)

Maximum Weekly Benefit (60x MFW)

$780

Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

.5%

No Change

Taxable Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

Not yet released

Maximum Employee Contribution

$714 per year

TBD – linked to SSA Maximum Wage Base

Required Notice

Employee notice requirements are not set to begin until July 1, 2022; however, employers may want to utilize materials posted on the CT PFML Employer Page to inform their employees about program benefits beginning January 1.


District of Columbia

Paid Family Leave (DC PFL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 2 weeks

(increased to 6 weeks for leave beginning 9/26/21 through 9/30/22)

Pre-natal Medical Leave: 2 weeks

(new, for claims filed 10/1/21 through 9/30/22)

Family Care: 6 weeks

Bonding: 8 weeks

Combined maximum: 8 weeks in a 52-week period

(potential for 10 weeks with Pre-natal and Parental combined)

Benefit Formula

If EAWW* =< 150% of DC min. wage x 40: 90%

If EAWW > 150% of DC min. wage x 40: 90% of 150% of DC min. wage x 40 

plus 50% of the difference of the EAWW and 150% of DC min. wage x 40

No Change

DC Minimum Wage

$15/hour

$15.20/hour (eff. 7/1/21)

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$1,000 (claims beginning before 9/25/21)

$1,009 (claims beginning on or after 9/26/21 – see Public Notice)

Contribution Rate

Employer-Paid

.62%

No Change

Maximum Contribution

No maximum

Required Notice

Notice posted and provided at hire, annually and at the time of need for leave

An updated notice is expected shortly.

* EAWW = Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined by each law; SAWW = State Average Weekly Wage


Massachusetts

Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

Own Illness: 20 weeks

Family Care: 12 weeks

Bonding or Qualifying Exigency: 12 weeks

Injured Servicemember: 26 weeks

Combined maximum: 26 weeks in a 52-week period

No Change

Benefit Formula

80% of EAWW* =< 50% of SAWW, plus 50% of EAWW > 50% of SAWW

No Change

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,487.78

$1,694.24

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$850

$1,084.31

Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid

.75% Total Contribution

.62% Medical, .13% Family Care

.68% Total Contribution

.56% Medical, .12% Family Care

Maximum Employee Contribution Rate

.248% Medical, .13% Family Care

Employers with <25 covered individuals are not required to pay the Employer Portion of the Medical contribution

.224% Medical, .12% Family Care

Employers with <25 covered individuals are not required to pay the Employer Portion of the Medical contribution.

Maximum Wage Base (SSA)

$142,800

Not yet released

Maximum Contribution

$1,071 Total

(~$539.78 Employee)

per year

TBD – linked to SSA Maximum Wage Base

Required Notice

Worksite poster and new hire notice

Updated versions not yet available.

* EAWW = Employee’s Average Weekly Wage, as defined by each law; SAWW = State Average Weekly Wage


New York

Disability Benefits Law (NY DBL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 weeks

Max. 26 weeks in a 52-week

period combined with NY PFL

No Change

Benefit Percentage

50%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$170

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and Employer-Paid; Employer pays any balance required

.5%

Maximum Employee Contribution

$31.20 per year

Required Notice

Posted Notice of Compliance (DBL-120 for insured plans) or Certificate of Participation in Group Disability Self-Insurance (DB-120.2 for self-funded plans), as well as a Statement of Rights (DB-271S) provided at time of need for leave.


New York

Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

12 weeks

Max. 26 weeks in a 52-week period combined with NY DBL

No Change

Benefit Percentage

67%

No Change

State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

$1,450.17

$1,594.57

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$971.61

$1,068.36

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee-Paid

.511%

No Change

Maximum Employee Contribution

$385.34 per year

$423.71 per year

Required Notice

Posted Notice of Compliance (PFL-120 for insured plans, employers with self-funded plans may request from NY WCB) as well as a Statement of Rights (PFL-271S) provided at time of need for leave.

Puerto Rico

SINOT

2021

2022

Maximum Duration

26 weeks

No Change

Benefit Percentage

65%

Maximum Weekly Benefit

$113

Employee Contribution Rate

Employee- and employer-paid

.3% Employee, .3% Employer

on first $9,000 of earnings

Maximum Contribution

$27 Employee, $27 Employer

per year

Required Notice

Worksite poster as well as individual certificate/notice of benefits

Paid Sick Leave Updates

Allegheny County, PA Paid Sick Time

On September 14 Allegheny County, PA’s City Council approved Ordinance No. 15-21, adding Article 24 to the Allegheny County Health Department Rules and Regulations to require employers to provide paid sick time to their employees. 

The ordinance’s notice requirements became effective immediately (though the model notice is pending); remaining requirements will become effective 90 days after the county’s designated agency makes employer notice materials available through the county website.

Applies to:

  • All employers with 26 or more employees operating within the geographical boundaries of the county; excludes the United States government and any office, department, agency, authority, institution or other body of the State of Pennsylvania, including the legislature and the judiciary;
  • All employees, excluding independent contractors, state and federal employees and seasonal employees (as defined in the law text).

Entitlement:

  • Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked within the geographical boundaries of the county, beginning the later of the law’s effective date or commencement of employment, up to 40 hours per calendar year. Employers may provide a faster accrual rate. “Calendar year” is defined as a regular and consecutive 12-month period, as determined by the employer and communicated to all employees.
  • Accrual for exempt employees is automatically based on a 40-hour workweek; if an exempt employee normally works fewer than 40 hours per week, accrual is based on their regular schedule.
  • Employers may frontload the full 40-hour allotment of sick leave.
  • Paid sick leave carries over from one year to the next, unless 40 hours is frontloaded at the beginning of the calendar year.  If the employer provides less than 40 hours at the beginning of the year, an employee may carry over enough time so that the total time available does not exceed 40 hours. 
  • Payout of accrued but unused leave is not required upon separation of employment. Employees rehired within 6 months of termination are entitled to reinstatement of previously accrued time, and may use that time immediately.
  • Employers are not required to provide additional leave if they have a policy or collective bargaining agreement that provides paid leave in an amount equivalent to, and that may be used for the same reasons and under the same conditions as, this ordinance’s requirements.

Reasons for Use:

  • Diagnosis, care or treatment of the employee’s or a covered family member’s physical or mental illness, injury or health condition, including preventive care;
  • Needs associated with a public health emergency:
  • Closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official;
  • Employee’s need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official; or
  • To care for a covered family member when it has been determined by health authorities or a health care provider that the family member’s presence in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the family member’s exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the family member has actually contracted the communicable disease.

Covered Family Members:

  • Employee’s legal spouse or domestic partner;
  • Child (biological, adopted, foster, step-, legal ward, child of domestic partner; child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis);
  • Parent (biological, adoptive, foster, step- or legal guardian of the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner; person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child);
  • Sibling (biological, adoptive, foster);
  • Grandparent or grandparent’s spouse or domestic partner;
  • Grandchild;
  • Individual for whom the employee has received permission from the employer to care for at the time of the employee’s request to make use of paid sick time.

Use:

  • Employees may begin using accrued time beginning the 90th day after commencement of employment, in the smaller of hourly increments or the smallest increment the employer’s payroll system uses to account for absences or use of other time.
  • Use of accrued sick time may be limited to 40 hours per calendar year.

Notice to Employer/Documentation:

  • Employees must give notice of the need for leave, and notice should include the anticipated duration of leave when possible.
  • Employers may maintain current policies around how soon before an employee’s shift the employee is required make a verbal request for use of sick time, as long as that policy is reasonable and does not obstruct an employee’s ability to use accrued time.  In the absence of a formal policy, the employee must provide the request at least one hour prior to the start of their shift.
  • In the event the need for leave is known to the employee in advance (e.g., a scheduled medical appointment), the employer may require advance notice, not to exceed seven days. Employees must make a reasonable effort to schedule leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.
  • In the event the need for use of paid sick time is not foreseeable, or if the employee is not able to provide seven-day advance notice, notice should be provided as soon as possible.
  • Employers may request documentation for leaves of three or more consecutive work days.  An employer may not require that medical documentation explain the precise nature of the illness. Any information provided to the employer must be treated as confidential and not disclosed without written permission from the employee.

Rate of Pay: Sick time must be paid at the employee’s regular base rate of pay or applicable minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Employee Protections: Employers are prohibited against taking any adverse action against any employee who exercises or attempts to exercise the rights provided under this ordinance.  In addition, employees cannot be required to find a replacement worker to cover paid sick time hours.

Notice and Recordkeeping:

  • Employers must provide employees written notice of entitlement, rights and responsibilities. A model notice is expected, but not yet available.
  • Records of hours worked and sick time taken must be retained for two years.

Applicability: This ordinance does not apply in any municipality within Allegheny County that has enacted a paid sick time ordinance as long as such ordinance is not less stringent than this ordinance’s requirements. At present this only applies to Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Days Act, which is very similar to Allegheny County’s ordinance.

Other News

California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Amendment

On September 27 the governor of California approved AB1033, amending CFRA to add parent-in-law to the definition of parent effective January 1, 2022.

AB1033 also expands on the family leave mediation pilot program established under last year’s AB1867 to assist small employers and their employees with CFRA dispute resolution (addressed in our October 5, 2020 Update); see the amended law text for the outlined changes.

Missouri Domestic Violence Leave

In our August 27 Update we outlined the requirements of the state’s newly enacted domestic violence leave law (HB432) effective August 28, 2021.  The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has posted the required notice, which must be provided to all current employees by October 27, 2021, and thereafter to each new employee upon commencement of employment.

Tennessee Military Leave Amendment

On April 30 the governor of Tennessee signed HB82/Public Chapter No. 284, amending §8-33-110 of the state’s Military Leave Law effective July 1, 2021, to add that employees who are active members of the Tennessee national guard, Tennessee state guard, or civil air patrol are entitled to reemployment protections equivalent to those afforded to service members called to active service under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The amendment also establishes eligibility conditions for these protections as well as for (existing) unpaid leave.

Anti-Discrimination
Connecticut Anti-Discrimination – Age

On June 24 the governor of Connecticut signed SB56/Public Act 21-69, amending §46a-60 of the state’s Human Rights Act to prohibit employers from requesting or requiring that a prospective employee disclose their age, date of birth, or dates of education on an initial employment application, except if such information is needed based on a bona fide occupational qualification or need, or required in order to comply with any provision of state or federal law. The amendment took effect on October 1, 2021.

Delaware Anti-Discrimination – Definitions

On September 17 the governor of Delaware signed HB224 which, effective immediately, amends various sections* of the Delaware Code to make definitions associated with sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability consistent.  The amended definitions include (but are not limited to):

  • Gender identity: a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth.
  • Major life activities: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. “Major life activities” also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. 
  • Person with a disability: any person who satisfies any one of the following:
      • A. has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits 1 or more major life activities;
      • B. has a record of such impairment; or
      • C. is regarded as having such an impairment.
  • Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

* Delaware Equal Accommodations Law, Delaware Fair Housing Act, Delaware Criminal Code/Hate Crimes, Insurance/Unfair Practices, Employment Practices, Residential Landlord-Tenant Code       

Illinois Anti-Discrimination

Disability

On August 20 the governor of Illinois approved HB1838 (now Public Act 102-0419) which amends the state’s Human Rights Act to add to the definition of disability that ”discrimination based on disability includes unlawful discrimination against an individual because of the individual’s association with a person with a disability”. The amendment became effective July 1, 2022.

Work Authorization Status

On August 2 the governor approved HB121 (now Public Act 102-0233) which immediately amended the Human Rights Act to include freedom from discrimination in employment based on work authorization status. “Work Authorization Status” is defined as the status of being a person born outside of the United States, and not a U.S. citizen, who is authorized by the federal government to work in the United States.

Employers may not refuse to accept, or request more or different forms than, documentation identified as acceptable under federal law. They are not, however, required to sponsor any applicant or employee to obtain or modify work authorization status, unless otherwise required by federal law.

New Jersey Anti-Discrimination – Age

On October 5 the governor of New Jersey approved AB681, immediately amending the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) (N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.) to extend protections against age discrimination by:  

  • implementing a higher standard for a government employer in terms of setting a mandatory retirement age;  
  • eliminating the provision of the law that allows employers not to hire or promote workers over 70 years old;  
  • removing the provision within the law that permits higher education institutions to require tenured employees to retire at 70 years old; and  
  • expanding the remedies available to an employee required to retire due to age to include all remedies available under the LAD and not just reinstatement of employment with back pay.
Charlotte, NC Anti-Discrimination – Hiring and Employment

On August 9 Charlotte’s City Council approved Ordinance No. 115, which adds Sections 12-83 and 12-84 to the City Code effective January 1, 2022.  The ordinance prohibits discrimination in hiring and various aspects of employment on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, familial status, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression), veteran status, pregnancy, natural hairstyle, or disability.

The ordinance identifies where discrimination may not apply, such as where a religious organization may require its employees to adhere to the organization’s religious tenets, where dress or grooming standards are due to business necessity, or where the employer observes the conditions of a bona fide seniority system or affirmative action plan.  

Please contact your MMA ADL Account Team members with specific questions about these or other updates.

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