Paid family and medical leave: What employers in New York, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and Illinois need to know

June 04, 2019

Employment Law Alert

Author(s): David A. Tauster, Seth L. Neulight, Jessica Schachter Jewell

As family and medical leave laws are enacted across the United States, Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment team is actively tracking these developments and advising clients to ensure they are compliant.

Below is a summary of our June 4, 2019, webinar on “Paid Family and Medical Leave: What Employers in New York, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and Illinois Need to Know.” We encourage you to read this synopsis and listen to this recording to learn about these important developments. If you would like to jump to a specific section of the recording, we have included time stamps and slide numbers below for your reference.

New York – 1:50 (Slide 2): Beginning on January 1, 2018, all New York employers were required to begin providing paid family leave benefits to their employees. Employees can use these benefits to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition and address a family member’s qualified military exigency. This portion of the webinar summarizes the requirements and features of the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law, and provides some updates for 2019 that employers should be aware of. Tony Dulgerian

New Jersey – 10:10 (Slide 8): New Jersey has had a family leave requirement along with a wage replacement benefit in place for more than a decade. However, Governor Phil Murphy recently signed legislation that imposes new obligations on employers and increases the benefits available to employees. This segment of the webinar provides a brief overview of the current requirements under New Jersey law, as well as the changes that will take effect in the next year. David A. Tauster

California – 17:55 (Slide 13): California was the first state in the nation to adopt a paid family leave law in 2004. This segment provides an overview of the law, and discusses the basic eligibility requirements and benefits available under the program. The segment also identifies key action items for employers to ensure compliance with the law. Seth L. Neulight

Rhode Island – 27:10 (Slide 18): All Rhode Island employers have been subject to the state’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program for the last five years. In this segment, we provide a refresher on the law and discuss some issues employers have faced during this time. We also discuss some similarities and differences with other paid family and medical leave laws that are cropping up throughout the country. Jessica S. Jewell

Massachusetts – 34:10 (Slide 23): While Massachusetts employees are not able to start taking leave under the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law until January 2021, employers have upcoming (June 30, 2019) poster and notice deadlines, and a payroll tax to fund this new leave program takes effect on July 1, 2019. In this segment of the webinar, we provide an overview of the leave program, a timeline of key dates and provide employers with action items and next steps to prepare for the June 30 deadlines and July 1 payroll tax. Christopher J. Higgins

Washington, DC – 42:50 (Slide 28): Washington, DC employees will not begin taking Paid Family Leave until 2020, but employers’ obligations have already begun. All Washington, DC employers should be underway recording their employees’ wages in advance of the first collection of Paid Family Leave employer contributions on July 1. And, employers should begin thinking about how the law will impact their businesses once employees are allowed to begin taking their leave. In this segment, we discuss the tax collection process as well as provide a general overview of entitlements under Washington, DC’s Paid Family Leave law. Jessica S. Jewell

Illinois – 49:45 (Slide 33): While Illinois does not currently have any paid family or medical leave laws in place, it does have three paid sick leave laws on the books that are important for employers doing business in Illinois to consider. This segment of the webinar provides an overview of what employers need to know regarding these paid sick leave laws, including which employees are eligible for leave, the required accrual rates, permissible caps on accrual, carryover requirements, permissible uses of leave and next steps to take to ensure compliance with these laws. Brittany A. Bogaerts 

If you have any questions and/or would like additional information, please feel free to reach out to the lawyers listed here. In the coming months, we will unveil our Fall 2019 Paid Family and Medical Leave Webinar Series, where we will delve into the laws and statutes of each state in greater detail. The recording from the June 4 webinar can be found here.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

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