Effective: May 25, 2023
Florida enacted House Bill 721, which establishes the Florida Paid Family Leave Insurance Act. This Act allows a licensed insurer to issue a policy covering the benefits related to paid family leave. Under the bill “paid family leave insurance” is insurance issued to an employer which is related to a benefit program provided to an employee to pay for part of the employee's income loss due to leave taken for:
- The birth of a child or adoption of a child by the employee;
- Placement of a child with the employee for foster care;
- Care of the employee's family member who has a serious health condition; or
- 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 a 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. The bill provides additional requirements for an insurance policy under the Act, including more details regarding leave reasons, benefit periods, waiting periods, amount of leave and benefits.
Effective: Aug. 1, 2023
Alabama enacted House Bill 141, which creates the Alabama Paid Family Leave Income Replacement Benefits Act. This Act authorizes insurers providing employee disability policies to expand their fully insured disability benefits offerings to include family leave taken by an employee, through employer-sponsored group insurance policies or voluntarily purchased employee policies. Leave reasons that may be covered by these new policies include the following:
- Participate in providing care, including physical or psychological care, for a family member of the employee made necessary by a serious health condition of the family member;
- Bond with the employee's child during the first 12 months after the child's birth, or the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption or foster care with the employee;
- Address a qualifying exigency as interpreted under the Family and Medical Leave Act, arising out of the fact that the spouse, child, or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in the Armed Forces of the United States;
- Care for a family service member injured in the line of duty; and
- Take other leave to provide care for a family member or other family leave as specified in the insurance policy.
The insurance policy will indicate the length of family leave benefits available for each covered family leave reason, which must be at least two weeks during a period of 52 consecutive calendar weeks. The Act provides additional details and direction as to the requirements for these new insurance policies.
On July 11, 2023, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law a budget that will establish a paid family and medical leave program in the state. Employees will be able to begin taking leave and receiving benefits on May 1, 2026 (subject to a potential short delay based on an actuarial study). Employees and employers will begin contributing to the state plan on January 1, 2025.
Nearly all employees in Maine, including both private and public sector workers, will be covered. Job protection will apply to employees who have worked for their employer at least 120 days prior to their leave. The law provides up to 12 weeks of paid time off for an employee’s own medical condition, family leave (care of family member and bonding), safe leave and military exigency. Benefits are calculated as 90% of the portion of an employee’s wages that is less than or equal to 50% of the state average weekly wage plus 66% of the portion of wages exceeding 50% of the state average weekly wage. Benefits will be capped at 100% of the state average weekly wage. Employers will have the option to participate in the state plan or opt out of the state plan and provide benefits under comparable private plans.
Colorado’s average weekly wage will be increasing in July 2023. That means that when paid leave benefit payments become available in January 2024, those payments will be based on the new State average. The State’s new average weekly wage will increase to $1,421.16 starting July 1, 2023, an increase of more than $70 from the current average.
While payments will be based on a higher average in 2024, there will be no change to premiums. Premiums will remain at 0.9% of wages, and employers will still only be allowed to deduct up to 0.45% of that from workers.
Paid Medical and Family Leave (bill HF 2) was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz on May 25th, 2023.
- Contributions begin January 1, 2026.
- Benefits go into effect January 1, 2026.
Because it will take some time to set up the program and for premiums to collect enough to cover benefits, Governor Walz and the DFL legislative leaders agreed to draw $668 million from MN’s surplus budget to front-load the program. Premiums will start being collected, and benefits will start being paid, on January 1, 2026.
- Private plans (fully insured or self-funded) that exceed the benefits of the state plan permitted.
- 12 weeks paid leave for employee’s own serious health condition, including pregnancy, care for a family member, including bonding with a new child, related to a family member’s military deployment and instances of domestic abuse of sexual assault. 20 week cap for medical and family leave combined.
- Replacement wages would range from 55% to 90%.
- Funded by 0.7% payroll tax. Employers could charge 50% of the expense to employees. The rate could go up but not until January 2027 and not above a maximum of 1.2 percent.
- Job protected leave and retaliation prohibited.
Washington Senate Bill 5286, signed by the Governor Jay Inslee on April 20, 2023, takes effect July 23, 2023. It is meant to address fund stabilization issues. Currently, premiums are 0.8% of gross wages, and although the law becomes effective on July 23, 2023, the rate will not change until January 1, 2024.
Shortly after September 30th of each year, the agency will calculate the new premium rate for the following calendar year. The employer/employee split will also be calculated at that time and will be included in the announcement from the state agency. The total premium rate will be calculated as follows:(i) calculate an amount that equals 140% of the prior fiscal year's expenses, including the total amount of benefits paid and the state administrative costs;(ii) subtract the balance of the family and medical leave insurance fund (account created in RCW 50A.05.070 for state plan administration) as of September 30th from the amount calculated that equals 140% of the prior fiscal year's expenses; and(iii) divide the difference by the prior fiscal year's taxable wages.
As a result of this new calculation, the solvency surcharge previously enacted and which could be added to the total premium rate in order to provide sufficient revenue for state fund administration has been removed. Instead, the Commissioner must set the total premium rate which must be: (i) adjusted If the Commissioner determines the total premium rate calculated under the new process exceeds a rate necessary to maintain a three-month reserve at the end of the following rate collection year, such that the total premium rate is at the minimum rate necessary to close the rate collection year with a three-month reserve; and(ii) the total premium rate must not exceed 1.20 percent.
The governor of Virginia recently signed into law the Virginia Organ Donor Leave Law (Senate Bill 1086). Effective July 1, 2023, Virginia will have a new law in place allowing employees to take time off for organ or bone marrow donation. Eligible employees are allowed up to 60 business days of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for organ donation and up to 30 business days of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for bone marrow donation. This law will cover employers with 50 or more employees, and these employees must be employed for at least a 12-month period and 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. Employees will need to provide written verification from a physician that the employee is a donor, and that there was a medical necessity for the donation.
On May 3, Governor Moore signed legislation (H988/S828) into law making several modifications to Maryland’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance program, which is currently under development. The most important changes affect the dates on which premium contributions and benefit payments will begin. Prior to passage of this legislation, premium contributions were going to begin on Oct. 1, 2023, but now they will begin on Oct. 1, 2024. Benefit payments were going to begin on January 1, 2025, but now they will begin on January 1, 2026. The total contribution rate is capped at 1.2% of an employee’s wages and will be adjusted annually beginning July 1, 2026. The contributions will be split 50-50 between the employer and the employee. We will continue to follow developments of Maryland’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance program.
Great news! The Standard’s Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave product was the first in the industry to be approved by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. With this approval, The Standard is ready to support our clients with their private plan application.
Learn More About Paid Leaves
Get expert support to understand PFML compliance and manage employee recovery so you can focus on your organization's core mission.
Wondering about paid family and medical leave in different states? This interactive map shows where and what kind of PFML laws are in effect or being proposed.