The 2022 State-By-State Leave Law Report Vol. 1

(Prepared Jan. 2022)

New Year. New rules. But don’t fret. We’ve been keeping up on all things LOA so you don’t have to. Below is a cheat sheet so you’re in the know. Sit back, relax, and read up on the changes that took effect. Or don’t. We’ve got your back either way. 

Just don’t say we didn’t warn ya. 

P.S. if you have any Q’s or comments, we’re here for you! We even made a downloadable version for you here!

Status of National Paid Family & Medical Leave

According to the talking heads, the fate of the Build Back Better Act (AKA the BBBA: The proposed federal paid family and medical leave policy for U.S. Workers) is still TBD. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Until then, we’ll have to rely on the brave states who have taken matters into their own hands. We salute you.

Status of State Paid Family & Medial Leave

As of Jan 1, 2022, seven states (looking at you California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington) plus D.C. have paid family and medical leave programs. Two more states (shoutout to Colorado and Oregon) are slated to offer paid leave benefits in 2023 and 2024. Other states (hi Delaware, Maine, and Maryland) are pushing for paid family and medical leave in 2022. Let’s dive into the changing state of state paid family and medical leave laws. 

California Love

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides unpaid, job-protected time off to employees. New twist? The definition of “family member” has been expanded yet again. CFRA leave can now be used to care for a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition.

Rocky Mountain High

Colorado became the 9th state to establish a paid family and medical leave program. Fun fact: Colorado was the 1st state to do it by ballot initiative. #PowerToThePeople. This year Colorado will continue the regulatory process with expected contributions beginning in 2023 and anticipated benefit payouts in 2024. 

Growing Benefits in the Garden State

2022 marks the first full year for New Jersey’s higher wage replacement (up to 85% of an employee’s average weekly wage #chaching) and longer leave durations (up to 12 consecutive weeks!) 

Connecting the Dots in Connecticut

There are a lot of changes going on in CT’s leave land. The TL;DR is employees with a qualifying family or medical need will be able to receive paid benefits from the state’s new program for up to 12 weeks (or 14 weeks for people with pregnancy complications). 

The Connecticut Department of Labor released guidance on how employers should handle leaves that cross from 2021 into 2022. How nice, right? Well kind of. The guidance is not law and doesn’t have the same authority as regulations. That said, we’re following it until the regulations are formally changed. 

D.C. We See You

The District of Columbia is starting the new year off with an expansion of its personal medical leave from 2 weeks to 6 weeks and another 2-week allotment for prenatal care and pregnancy loss. 

PSA: the combined max number of all forms of paid leave is generally 8 weeks but could be 10 weeks if for e.g. someone takes parental leave and prenatal leave. D.C.’s mayor signed an emergency order that provides leave for Covid-19 vaccination and recovery and also extends public health emergency leave under D.C.’s Family Medical Leave Act (“DCFMLA”). 

New York State of Mind

New York’s Paid Family Leave Law expanded its definition of “family member” to include siblings (biological, adopted, step, and half). Big heads up here: this change does not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2023. 

New York also adopted an amendment to clarify the number of intermittent leave days eligible employees can take. 

TL;DR qualifying employees that work at least 5 days a week can take a maximum of 60 days of intermittent leave per year. Note: this change applies to requests for paid family leave made on or after Jan. 1, 2022. New York’s Department of Labor revised previous guidance to confirm that paid covid-19 vaccination leave applies to booster shots.

Leave it to (the) Beaver (State)

Oregon is preparing to implement its paid leave program and is scheduled to begin collecting paid leave premiums on Jan. 1, 2023, with benefit payments anticipated for Sept. 1, 2023. 

Rhode Island

RI put its money where its mouth is and increased paid family leave benefits from 4 weeks to 5 weeks in 2022 with another expected jump to 6 weeks in 2023. 

A New Hampshire Honorable Mention

New Hampshire’s Governor recently signed into law the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan. Big asterisk: this is a voluntary program meaning individuals and employers can choose whether to participate. The RFP process is set to begin in March 2022 with coverage anticipated in Jan 2023. 

In summation...

Keeping up with leave laws can be a pain in the (you know what). We get it, and we’re here to help!

Hit us up and learn how we’re helping organizations make leave suck less!

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