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The State Of State-Paid Family And Medical Leave – And Why Employers Should Be Preparing

by Justine Carroll, on July 18, 2023
In 2023, sweeping changes to paid leave policies have been gaining momentum. Historically, employers with over 50 employees within a 75-mile radius have offered the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees, with up to 12 weeks of guaranteed unpaid job protection to qualified individuals for stated family and medical reasons.

However, employers who didn’t meet the federal standard for offering FMLA often don’t offer options for employees who need time off for family- or medical-related reasons. But changes are coming at the state level; between 2022 and 2023, eleven states have passed paid family and medical leave laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Most of these offerings have been designed to incorporate and partially mirror the federal leave offerings:  
  • Medical leave to address an individual’s own serious health condition.
  • Leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.
  • Parental leave to bond with a new child, for both foster and adoptive parents and for parents of any gender.
Employers are encountering challenges preparing for these changes as the specific details of compliance can vary state to state. Some of the areas with variability are associated to the qualifying employer’s size, the method of collection, and how much the employees and employers pay into these programs. Other differentiations by state can include when employees become eligible for the paid leaves, how much qualified employees can earn, and if medical benefits are required to stay intact during the period of leave. In certain states, self-employed individuals or valid independent contractors can opt in voluntarily.

As newly-emerging paid leave legislation continues to evolve, employers will want to consider how their record keeping and leave policies will integrate these changes. Having a strong PEO partner to help navigate this changing landscape will be paramount. LandrumHR is here to provide support and assistance. 
Justine Carroll

Justine is a Managing Consultant at LandrumHR. She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder. With 23 years of HR experience, Justine has served as an internal HR Director, ran her own consulting business, and worked in PEO for 10 years.

View more blogs by Justine Carroll