2 June 2020

Paid Family Leave: A National Landscape of State Laws

Paid Family Leave: A National Landscape of State Laws

While there is no national standard regulating or requiring Paid Family Leave, there seems to be more momentum at the state level regarding adopting a PFL program. Since many of these proposed state laws are still in flux, today, we’ll take a snapshot of where state-specific PFL programs stand across the nation.  Although some states may currently provide expanded “emergency” benefits in light of COVID-19, our snapshot is focusing just on traditional PFL coverage.  And make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest developments by subscribing to our updates.

 

Which states have active Paid Family Leave programs in place presently?

Currently there are 5 states with active programs across the nation: California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and Washington.

Many of the states which have passed Paid Family Leave have either included short-term disability for one’s own medical condition along with Paid Family Leave or have a separate program in place to address short-term disability. 

Let’s take a closer look at these 5 states in order of the dates their PFL programs went live:

State

Program Name

Effective Date

Maximum Duration of Benefits

Benefits Summary

Qualifying Family members include:

California

View Site

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

 

No private carrier option

2004

6 weeks in a 12 month period, increasing to 8 weeks on July 1, 2020

Care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a minor child (within 1 year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption).

Child, Spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling

New Jersey

View Site

Family Care Leave (NJ FLI)

 

Private carrier options available, but not offered by most carriers

2009

6 weeks consecutive or 42 intermittent days, increasing to 12 weeks on July 1, 2020 or 56 intermittent days

Continuous or intermittent care to a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a newborn or newly adopted or foster child (within 1 year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption).

 

Child, Spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, blood relatives, any other individuals the employee considers to be family.

Rhode Island

View Site

Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI)

 

No private carrier option

2014

4 weeks

Care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a newborn child, adopted child, or foster child (within 1 year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption).

Child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law or grandparent

New York

View Site

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

 

Private carrier options available

2018

10 weeks in 2020, 12 weeks in 2021 and beyond

 

Bond with a new child (within 1 year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption), care for seriously ill family member, or a military exigency.

 

Child, Spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild

Washington

View Site

 

Paid Family and Medical Leave (WAPFML)

 

No private carrier option

2020

12 weeks

Care for a family member with a serious health condition, bond with a newborn child, adopted child, or foster child, or military exigency. 

Plus employee’s own health condition under the Medical Leave portion (i.e. short-term disability).

Child, grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent (in-law), or sibling  

 

Which states have enacted legislation, but the PFL programs are not yet active?

Massachusetts (2019), Connecticut (2019), and Oregon (2019) have all enacted legislation but presently (1/2020) do not have active PFL programs in place.  They are due to go live in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Massachusetts and Connecticut will both have private carrier coverage options, while Oregon is not anticipated to have private carrier options. The District of Columbia also has a program set to become active July 1, 2020.

Subscribe here for updates as we get closer to those effective dates!

 

Status of Paid Family Leave Laws as of January 1, 2020

At the beginning of year, twenty-nine states had legislation pending in their respective states [Vermont, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Arizona and Hawaii.]

The following map represents which states are active, which have programs in place and are not yet active, which states have pending legislation, states that introduced and rejected PFL registration, and states with no known plan at this time.

Status of Paid Family Leave Across the States

While having 29 states with pending legislation demonstrates great interest, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Paid Family Leave gets enacted in all, or any, of these states.  Colorado, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and North Dakota have not been able to pass their proposed Paid Family Leave legislation.  But just because a bill did not get passed doesn’t mean that supporters of Paid Family Leave may not try again in another form at another time. Vermont, for example, has brought a bill before the Vermont General Assembly four times, with a recent veto by the Governor of Vermont, Philip Scott, who has himself recently pushed Paid Family Leave for public employers with a voluntary program for private sector employers. Colorado has had five failed attempts in previous legislative sessions to pass a bill, and is now working towards making it a referendum in their November 2020 election.  

May the U.S. adopt a national Paid Family Leave law?

While there are a number of proposed approaches considered by Congress currently, lawmakers have not yet found agreement on how to structure a Paid Family Leave policy.  Some proposed options have included borrowing from future Social Security benefits, or having benefits funded by payroll contributions (the FAMILY Act).

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The information in this blog post is as of  March 31, 2020 except where noted, and is subject to change.

 

Sources:

  1. National Partnership for Women & Families, State Paid Family Leave Insurance Laws, August 2019
  2.  Bipartisanpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/State-Paid-Family-Leave-Laws-Across-the-US.pdf

 

 

This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any PFL information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation,  and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding Paid Family Leave regulations. Have more questions? Email us at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com

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