Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
We’re just a few weeks into the new year, so now is an ideal time to brush up on the more notable changes to paid family and medical leave standards across the country that took effect on January 1 or will occur later in 2023 so employers can better navigate their compliance obligations.
As we start our PFML journey, let us identify “decoder ring” statements about some of our lead-ins should any of our readers not live and breathe paid family and medical leave (PFML).
- You’ll be on the receiving end of a lot of references to “Contributions”; generally speaking, PFML programs are often funded in part by deductions from employee wages and/or employer premiums, and similar to minimum wage, some laws require an annual adjustment to the contribution percentage, the maximum amount to deduct from employee wages, and/or the total amount of employee wages that is subject to the deduction.
- Similarly, there are more than a minimal number of references to the “Maximum Weekly Benefit” – the most amount of money an employee will receive under the PFML program when they take a qualifying absence, which is based on a weekly calculation. The laws also set a minimum amount, though, as you’ll see, not many of those have changed.
Contributions: In 2023, employers must deduct from employees’ wages 0.9% of the first $153,164 in wages paid to an employee in a calendar year, with a maximum withholding of $1,378.48. This differs from 2022 standards, which required deductions of 1.1% of their first $145,600, with a maximum withholding of $1,601.60.
Maximum Weekly Benefit: For claims beginning on or after January 1, 2023, the maximum weekly benefits an individual can receive increases to $1,620, up from $1,540 in 2022.
San Francisco Paid Parental Leave: Under San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO), covered employers must provide “supplemental compensation” to employees receiving California PFL for new child bonding. As a result of the increase to the state’s maximum weekly benefit, the PPLO cap will increase to $2,700 per week, up from $2,567 in 2022.
If you’re looking to stay golden, you can check out articles like California Extends Paid Family Leave Benefits from 6 to 8 Weeks, Bonding by the Bay: San Francisco Mandates Paid Parental Leave, and Local and State Developments Impact San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Obligations.
Contributions: New payroll deductions for Colorado’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program began on January 1, 2023. The premium is 0.9% of an employee’s wage, with the employer and employee both contributing 0.45% (unless the employer elects to pay the full amount).
If you’re still feeling a bit “rocky,” check out Questions and Answers About Proposition 118, Which Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave in Colorado, and Colorado Issues Final Rules on Benefits and Employer Participation Requirements for Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, Clarifies Private Plan Option.
District of Columbia
Notice: The 2023 version of the Employee Notice must be distributed prior to February 1. This new version takes into account the recent increase to available D.C. Paid Family Leave benefits (up to 12 weeks) for all claims submitted on or after October 1, 2022, with requested leave dates beginning on or after September 25, 2022.
We outline D.C. requirements plainly in DC Workers Will Soon Receive More Paid Leave, Employers to Obtain Tax Cut.
Contributions: On October 1, 2023, payroll deductions will begin under Maryland’s Time to Care Act.
We carefully lay out the specifics of this new law here: Maryland Enacts a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program.
Contributions: In 2023, the total contribution rate for employers with at least 25 employees decreased to 0.63%, from 0.68%. The medical portion of the contribution decreased to 0.52%, from 0.56%. Up to 40% of the medical portion can be withheld from employees’ pay, representing a contribution rate of 0.208% in 2023, down from 0.224%. The other 60% must be paid by the employer, representing a contribution rate of 0.312% in 2023, down from 0.336%. The family portion of the contribution is to decrease to 0.11%, from 0.12%. Employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to pay a medical contribution, leaving the effective contribution rate for these employers at 0.318% of eligible wages, down from 0.344% in 2022.
Maintain Health Care Benefits During Leave: On January 6, 2023, Massachusetts revised its regulations governing an employer’s obligation to maintain an employee’s health insurance benefits during leave. The revised regulations provide four examples concerning how employers can “otherwise maintain” coverage, discuss what happens when employees are ineligible for benefits when they begin leave, and address what happens when an employee resigns during leave.
Even if you went ivy league, you’ll be smarter after reading Massachusetts Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave Releases Final Regulations.
(Voluntary) Paid Leave Program Takes Effect: On January 1, 2023, New Hampshire became the first state to provide a voluntary paid leave program. The New Hampshire Paid Family and Medical Leave (NH PFML) Plan, otherwise known as the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan, provides New Hampshire workers with 60% wage replacement for up to six weeks of work per year if they take time off for personal health or family reasons.
We tried to break through the granite to get to this law, but sorry, we have no articles to volunteer.
Contributions: In 2023, employees must now contribute 0.06% (down from .14%) of the first $156,800 in covered wages (up from $151, 900).
Maximum Weekly Benefit: The maximum weekly benefit for new Family Leave Insurance claims increased January 1, 2023 to $1,025, from $993.
More Family Time and Money: New Jersey Expands its Family Leave Entitlements. Fuggedaboutit.
Contributions: Effective January 1, 2023, New York decreased by 10% its employee premium rate for PFL from 0.5% of employee’s wages to 0.455% of employee’s wages, not to exceed an annual maximum contribution of $399.43.
Covered Family Members: New York amended its Paid Family Leave (PFL) Law to expand the definition of family member, as of January 1, 2023, to include a sibling, which is defined as a biological or adopted sibling, a half-sibling, or a stepsibling.
Forms: The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) updated the request forms for PFL. The revised forms are now available on the Paid Family Leave website. All PFL request forms have been updated to include a “Gender X” option, remove unnecessary gender pronouns, and include siblings within Family Care.
From the Boogie Down Bronx to Buffalo, we cover the entire Empire State in New York Enacts Changes to New York Paid Family Leave and Paid Vaccine Leave Laws.
Contributions: Payroll deductions for Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) program began January 1, 2023. The contribution is 1% of up to a maximum of $132,900 in wages. Employers with 25 or more employees pay 40% and employees pay 60% of the premium. Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not pay into the program.
Poster: Effective January 1, 2023, each employer must display the department’s notice poster in each of the employer’s buildings or worksites in an area that is accessible to and regularly frequented by employees and provide a copy to remote employees.
Benefits: On or after September 3, 2023, employees can submit claims for benefits under Oregon’s PFMLI program.
Don’t leave it to the beaver state, leave it to us to keep you current with articles like November 30 Deadline: Equivalent Plan Applications for Oregon’s Paid Family Medical Leave Program Are Due.
Contributions: Although employers continue to deduct 1.1% of employee wages in 2023, the taxable wage base increases from $81,500 to $84,000.
Minimum & Maximum Weekly Benefit: In 2023, the minimum and maximum weekly benefit increase from $107 and $978 to $121 and $1,007, respectively.
Length of Absence: Beginning January 1, 2023, eligible employees are entitled to take up to six weeks of paid leave in a benefit year (an increase from five weeks) under Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance program to (1) bond with a newborn child or a child newly placed for adoption or foster care with the employee or domestic partner, or (2) care for a child, a parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, spouse, or domestic partner, who has a serious health condition.
If you’re looking for a little info about Little Rhody, how about Rhode Island Enacts Paid Temporary Caregiver Leave Law.
(Voluntary) Paid Leave Program Created: In 2023, Vermont followed New Hampshire’s lead by creating a voluntary paid family and medical leave program that private employers may opt into beginning July 1, 2024, which provides at least a combined 6 weeks of paid leave benefits at 60% of pay in a 12-month period for parental bonding, care for a seriously ill family member, the employee’s own serious health condition, qualifying military exigencies, and care for an injured servicemember.
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Contributions: The premium for the Paid Family and Medical Leave program increased to 0.8% (from 0.6%) in 2023. Employers pay 27.24% of the total premium and employees will pay 72.76% (this is a very slight increase to the employer share and a decrease to the employee share).
The state may be evergreen, but we’re spent on puns.