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October is National Work and Family Month

According to WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP), which established National Work and Family Month in 2003, “It is nationally recognized by members of Congress, businesses, academic institutions, work-life advocacy groups, and individuals aiming to succeed at home and on the job. The goal is to encourage employers to think strategically about family-friendly policies and work-life benefits such as workplace flexibility, health and wellness, dependent care, community involvement, organizational culture, financial security, and paid and unpaid time off to attract, motivate, and retain a talented workforce.”

Many states and localities ensure workers have the opportunity to take time off from work to care for themselves and their family by providing paid and/or unpaid leave. State and local family leave laws vary widely in the acceptable uses for leave and pay, and they also continue to evolve.

3 Places with Recent Family and Medical Leave Law Changes

The Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA) requires employers with 75 or more employees to provide eligible employees a total of 16 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 24-month period. Significant amendments were made to the law in June 2019, with the majority of changes effective January 1, 2022. The Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave (CPFML) Insurance Program was also created at that time to provide wage replacement for eligible employees who take leave for a permitted purpose.

Then there’s the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, which took effect July 1, 2019, with most benefits available on January 1, 2021, and all benefits are available on July 1, 2021. Employees who contribute to this Massachusetts PFML program are entitled to take the following paid leave:

  • Up to 12 weeks per year to care for a family member or bond with a new child.
  • Up to 20 weeks per year for an employee’s own illness (serious health condition).
  • Up to 26 weeks per year for an emergency related to deployment of a family member for military service.

And don’t forget about the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act, which took effect March 29, 2019, and requires employers to provide employees with paid medical leave for their own personal or family health needs, as well as for purposes related to domestic violence and sexual assault.

3 Places with Recent Broader Leave Law Changes

Two states and one county have even gone so far as to provide leave for any reason whatsoever.

Under the Maine earned paid leave provisions, effective January 1, 2021, an employer (except in a seasonal industry) with 10 employees for more than 120 days in any calendar year must permit each employee to earn paid leave based on the employee’s base pay. Employees are entitled to earn one hour of paid leave from a single employer for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in one year of employment, with accrual of leave beginning at the start of employment.

In Nevada, effective January 1, 2020, private employers with 50 or more employees must provide paid leave to each employee.

And, in the County of Bernalillo, New Mexico, effective July 1, 2020, employers must permit employees to use earned paid time off accrued for any use, which must be compensated at the same hourly rate and with the same benefits, including health care benefits, as the employee normally earns.

Resources for ThinkHR Customers

Log into Comply to read even more about state and local family and medical leave laws by clicking on the locations above or downloading our handy chart. Wondering how to administer leave in a way that both treats employees fairly and compassionately and complies with both federal and state leave laws? Check out this on-demand webinar on Top 6 Avoidable Leave of Absence Mistakes.

Samantha Yurman, JD

Samantha Yurman is one of ThinkHR’s legal editors. She is a licensed attorney in California and Florida with over 16 years of experience researching and analyzing human resources legislation and law. Samantha uses her expertise to translate highly technical legal topics into usable information for our clients.

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