2023’s a Wrap! A Toast to 2024!

by Armando Rodriguez, Esq - Product Compliance Counsel Compliance And Legal Department

December 27, 2023

 

Can you believe it's already the end of the year? And what a year it's been! In 2023, we saw the official end (finally!) of the COVID-19 National Emergency, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act became effective, Minnesota and Maine passed their Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) laws, and the benefit go live of Oregon PFML. But we'll save the full 2023 recap to Ryan Seacrest and Anderson Cooper. Instead, we're looking ahead to 2024. From employee protections to contribution details for new state PFML programs, there are multiple updates to be aware of, with many of them taking effect as early as January 1, 2024.

The following leave laws take effect on January 1, 2024:

  • California's Reproductive Loss Leave
  • Amendment to Illinois's Blood Donation Leave
  • Illinois's Child Extended Bereavement Leave
  • Amendment to Illinois's Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act
  • Amendment to Nevada's Domestic Violence Leave

California's Reproductive Loss Leave requires certain employers to provide eligible employees with 5 days of leave in the event of a reproductive loss. The law applies to employers employing 5 or more employees and employees who have worked 30 or more days for that employer, and defines a reproductive loss as a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction. You can read more about California's Reproductive Loss Leave here.

Illinois's Blood Donation Leave was amended to add organ donation as a leave reason. The law applies to employers with 51 or more employees and employees who have been employed full time for at least 6 months. In addition to the 1 hour every 56 days for blood donation, eligible employees can now take up to 10 days in any 12-month period to donate an organ.

Illinois's Child Extended Bereavement Leave, or Zachary's Parent Protection Act, provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid leave in the event of a loss of a child due to suicide or homicide. The law covers all Illinois employees, but provides different leave entitlements based on the size of the employer. Employers of 50-249 employees must provide employees with up to 6 weeks, while employers of 250 or more employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Illinois's Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) was updated to provide all employees in Illinois with 2 weeks of leave for the death of a family or household member who was killed in a crime of violence. These 2 weeks are in addition to the leave already available under VESSA. You can read more about the updates to all three types of Illinois leave here.

Nevada's Domestic Violence Leave was amended to include sexual assault, which was not previously covered.

In addition to the above leave laws, there are also changes to California's State Disability Insurance/Paid Family Leave (SDI/PFL) and New York's Disability Benefit Law (DBL) that become effective on January 1, 2024.

  • California's SDI/PFL contributions will no longer be subject to a taxable wage limit, meaning there will no longer be a maximum withholding for each employee.
  • New York's DBL regulations made several updates. Honorable mentions include organ donation being added to the definition of injury and sickness, and a presumption that a pregnant employee is disabled for at least the 4 weeks prior to delivery and the 6 or 8 weeks after delivery, depending on whether the employee delivered vaginally or by Cesarean.

And speaking of statutory benefits, I'm not sure if you heard about Colorado's PFML program. If you haven't, well...let's just say you've got a lot to get caught up on. Here's a good place to start.

Beyond January 1, Oregon's Family Leave act is making changes to be in alignment with their PFML. These changes include expanding the definition of covered relationships, alignment of benefit years, and requiring job protection and benefit continuation. These changes are effective July 1, 2024.

California's SDI/PFL revised benefit formula is effective on January 1, 2025. In case you missed it, You can read about more about the updates to California's SDI/PFL here.

Maryland Employers must begin collecting contributions for PFML starting October 1, 2024 (Delayed from October 1, 2023), followed in January 1, 2025 by Delaware and Maine. Delaware, Maryland, and Minnesota's PFML programs all have an anticipated benefit go live date of January 1, 2026, and Maine on May 1, 2026.

Reliance Matrix Can Help!

Be it State Leave, Statutory Disability benefits, or Paid Family and Medical Leave, our team of integrated absence management specialists are well versed in all absence-related topics. We offer a full range of leave administration and accommodation services to support your workforce. For more information, contact your Reliance Matrix account manager or send us a message to [email protected].