Year-End Changes to PFML, Sick Leave, Other Leave Programs

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and one of the busiest! Amidst decking halls and ringing sleigh bells, employers should be reviewing their leave policies and updating them to comply with the new and amended leave programs passed by state legislatures and local governments before the end of 2023.   

The following summaries outline leave law activity as the year drew to a close. Below, we’ve provided a helpful list of new leave laws that go into effect with the dawning of 2024.   

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Amendment

When: Effective November 1, 2023 

What: For applications filed on or after Nov. 1, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) will allow employees to supplement or “top off” their PFML benefits from the state plan with any available accrued paid leave (sick time, vacation, paid time off, personal time, etc.) up to their average weekly earnings. The top-off amount can be calculated by subtracting the employee’s weekly PFML benefit rate from the employee’s average weekly earnings. The difference is the maximum amount that can be paid out by the employer using the employee’s accrued paid leave. The top-off amount does not need to be reported to DFML.   

New Chicago Paid Sick Leave and Paid Leave Ordinance

When: Effective December 31, 2023; implementation delayed to July 1, 2024*

What: Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave (PSL) ordinance was amended to require employers to provide two separate leave entitlements to their employees (including domestic workers) who have worked for at least 80 hours during a 120-day period: paid sick leave (PSL) and paid leave for any reason (paid leave). Beginning at the start of their employment or on July 1, 2024, whichever is later, employees accrue at least one hour of paid leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave in a 12-month period, as well as at least one hour of PSL for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of PSL in a 12-month period. In addition, employers must post and provide a notice of rights to their employees with their first paycheck, and annually with a paycheck issued within 30 days of July 1.*

New California Reproductive Loss Leave Program

When: Effective January 1, 2024 

What: Employers in California must provide their employees with up to 5 days of leave following a reproductive loss event. This includes a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction. If an employee experiences more than one reproductive loss event within a 12-month period, they can only take a total of 20 days of reproductive loss leave. An employee should take reproductive loss leave within three months of the event; if they are already on statutory leave (ex. FMLA or CFRA) before or after they experience a reproductive loss event, then they can complete their reproductive loss leave within three months of the end date of the other leave.   

California Paid Sick Leave Amendment

When: Effective January 1, 2024 

What: California’s paid sick leave (PSL) law will expand employees’ leave entitlements, depending on whether employers provide leave through accrual or by frontloading. Employers who provide leave through the accrual method over time must provide up to a maximum of 80 hours or ten days (an increase from six days). The law now also guarantees an accrued minimum of 40 hours or five days, which employees can use on their 200th day. Instead of the accrual method, employers can choose to frontload leave, i.e. provide the full amount of leave at the beginning of the chosen 12-month period, but they must provide a minimum of 40 hours or five days (raised from three days).   

Washington PFML Regulations

When: Effective January 1, 2024 

What: The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) adopted regulations to implement recent legislation on changes to the premium rate calculation, public records requests, and interested parties to a PFML claim. Among others, the amended regulations allow employers to access certain information about their employees’ claims to coordinate WA PFML benefits with existing employer-provided benefits. 

New and amended leave programs effective January 1, 2024

California: Reproductive Loss Leave Program, Paid Sick Leave Amendment (detailed above) 

Colorado: Paid Family and Medical Leave 

Illinois: Paid Leave for All Workers, new and expanded leave laws with Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act, Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) Bereavement, Blood and Organ Donation Leave 

Minnesota: Creates paid sick leave with Earned Sick and Safe Time 

Nevada: Updates leave with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Leave Amendment 

* Information updated based on activity since publication on 12/13/2023

FINEOS can help you stay in compliance with state PFML and other leave

FINEOS will be ready to administer these new and amended laws and regulations. Using modern insurance technology solutions like the FINEOS Platform can help companies remain compliant and competitive when leave legislation is revised and new products are authorized by governing jurisdictions. Learn how a modern, integrated disability and absence management (IDAM) solution can help your organization adapt to this rapidly evolving market. 

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