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Rethink Your Paid-Leave Policies

Rethink Your Paid-Leave Policies

For most employers, paid leave is a core benefit due to its essential role in attracting and recruiting talent. As noted in a 2019 report by SHRM, 62% of full-time exempt employees receive PTO and 61% of full-time nonexempt employees get PTO.

Up until fairly recently, paid time off largely remained a voluntary employer-sponsored benefit. Per the Kaiser Family Foundation, federal regulatory bodies have made many efforts to implement a national paid-leave policy, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

What about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

The FFCRA, signed into law on March 18, 2020, is a federal rule requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave for coronavirus-related situations. The act does not pertain to employers with 500 or more employees. Further, it's a short-term measure that expires Dec. 31, 2020.

Nevertheless, the FFCRA, along with a growing number of state and local paid-leave laws, is forcing employers to reconsider their paid-leave policies.

What are the state and local paid-leave mandates?

In some states, employers must give eligible employees paid sick and/or family leave, which employees can use to care for themselves or sick family members. A few states simply mandate paid leave, which can be taken for any reason.

Among the states requiring paid leave are:

  • Arizona.
  • California.
  • Connecticut.
  • District of Columbia.
  • Maine.
  • Maryland.
  • Massachusetts.
  • Michigan.
  • New Jersey.
  • New York.
  • Oregon.
  • Rhode Island.
  • Vermont.
  • Washington.

Among the cities and counties with paid-leave laws are:

  • Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Monica (California).
  • Cook County and Chicago (Illinois).
  • Montgomery County (Maryland).
  • Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth (Minnesota).
  • Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).
  • Austin, San Antonio and Dallas (Texas).
  • Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane (Washington).

Additionally, some states and local governments require employers to give paid or unpaid leave, or greater access to existing paid-leave programs, for coronavirus reasons. Among these states are:

  • California.
  • Los Angeles.
  • San Francisco.
  • New York.
  • Colorado.
  • New Jersey.
  • Rhode Island.

What does all of this mean?

State, city and county paid-leave laws each have their own criteria. So, your challenge is to determine whether your business is subject to any state, city or county paid-leave mandates. If so, you'll need to figure out the best way for your company to administer them.

In cases where both state and local paid-leave laws apply, seek expert assistance on how to proceed. The same goes if you're subject to a temporary federal rule — such as the FFCRA — plus a state or local paid-leave mandate.

If you voluntarily offer paid leave and must now comply with a federal, state or local paid-leave law, make sure your paid-leave policies reflect no less than the minimum legal requirements.

Content Created by IndustryNewsletters 2020

Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

Copyright © 2018 IndustryNewsletters. All rights reserved.

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