Employers, are your leave policies ready for 2023? | Proskauer – The Law and the Workplace

With the arrival of the new year comes the effective date of many new license laws (and the expansion of existing license laws) in the United States. Here’s a summary of the family and sick leave laws that will take effect in various states in 2023.


California employers will see two major changes to leave laws in 2023 (which we blogged about here): An expanded definition of “family member” for family, medical, and sick leave, and new bereavement leave protections. First by 2023, eligible California employees will be able to take family or medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and sick leave under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (“HWHFA”) ) to care for a “designated person”, which is defined as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship”, and can be identified by the employee at the time the employee applies for leave. Second, California employers will be required to provide eligible employees up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave to care for needs arising from the death of a family member (which takes its CFRA definition, but it is not clear at this time if it will) also include a “designated person”) at any time within three months of the death of the family member. Employees s may also use any accrued but unused paid vacation time, sick leave or personal leave to take bereavement leave.


In Colorado, effective January 1, 2023, covered employers must begin contributing to the family medical leave insurance fund created by the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act (“FAMLI Law”) through a 0.9% payroll tax. The payroll tax, which will remain at 0.9% through 2023 and 2024, will be split equally between employers and employees. The FAMLI Act applies to most Colorado employers and will cover Colorado employees (including remote workers working for Colorado employers) who earned at least $2,500 in the applicable base period. Beginning in 2024, eligible Colorado employees may request up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave (up to 16 weeks for health issues related to pregnancy or complications of childbirth) for certain qualifying reasons, including the employee’s serious health condition or a family member, for the care of a newborn or newly placed child, to address the needs arising from the active military service of a family member and/or because the employee or their family member is a victim of domestic violence, stalking or assault or sexual abuse. Colorado employers should ensure they are ready for 2023 by registering with the FAMLI Division and creating a plan to collect and remit the required premiums, due after the close of the first quarter of 2023.


Beginning January 1, 2023, employers with 25 or more employees in Oregon must begin making contributions to the new Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (“PFMLI”), which provides eligible employees with paid time off for certain family and medical reasons. Employers pay 40 percent of the premium and employees pay 60 percent, which is equal to one percent of an employee’s salary for 2023. Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not need to make contributions to the program, but do they must collect and remit the contributions of their employees. Share. Employers may choose to participate in the program through the Oregon Employment Department plan or an equivalent state-approved plan. Beginning September 3, 2023, eligible employees may request up to 12 weeks (14 if pregnant) of PFMLI benefits to (i) bond with a child after birth or adoption; (ii) recover from a serious medical condition; or (ii) if the employee or a family member experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.


Maine has modified its paid vacation law, effective January 1, 2023, to require all private employers with 11 or more employees to pay all accrued vacation pay at the time of the employee’s separation from employment for any reason. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in payment of the amount due, damages up to twice the amount due, and attorneys’ fees and costs.


Like us previously reported, effective January 1, 2023, eligible employees in New York may apply for New York Paid Family Leave Law benefits to care for their sibling (including a biological, adopted, step-sibling, or half-sibling). The maximum annual employee contribution for 2023 is $399.43, which is $24.28 less than in 2022, and the maximum weekly employee benefit will increase to $1,131.08.


Michigan is ready to implement the Michigan Earned Sick Time Law (“ESTA”), effective February 20, 2023, expanding coverage and the amount of paid sick time available to employees. The Michigan legislature originally passed ESTA in September 2018, which would have required employees to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with no limit on accrual or transfer as follows: Employers with 10 or more employees would have had to allow up to 72 hours of paid sick time per year, while employers with fewer than 10 employees would have had to allow up to 40 hours of paid sick time and up to an additional 32 hours of unpaid sick time per year. However, subsequent amendments to ESTA significantly reduced the original requirements of the law and resulted in the adoption of the Paid Medical Leave Act (“PMLA”), which went into effect in March 2019. Several groups successfully filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the amendment. and on July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims reinstated the originally approved 2018 ESTA. The State of Michigan filed an appeal and requested a stay of the Court’s decision pending appeal. While the Court denied the stay motion, it postponed the enactment of ESTA until February 20, 2023, to give employers time to make the changes necessary to comply. The parties to the lawsuit have requested that the appeals court issue its decision by February 1, 2023.

Looking to the future

Some states have major changes on the horizon that employers should be aware of, although action is not yet necessary. In 2025, paid family and medical leave laws will go into effect in Delaware Y Maryland. Both states will require covered employers to begin contributing to the appropriate state funds before leave benefits are available to employees. Delaware employers have until January 1, 2024 to arrange payroll contributions to the fund, while Maryland employers with 15 or more employees must begin contributing to the fund on October 1, 2023 at a set rate. For the state. Vermonton the other hand, you are implementing a volunteer paid family and medical leave program. Benefits under the Vermont program will begin with state employees on July 1, 2023 and will extend to private employers and employees on July 1, 2024. Unlike the programs described above, the Vermont program does not require that employers contribute through payroll taxes. Instead, participating private employers will pay a weekly premium based on the program selected. Vermont program follows neighbor new hampshiresimilar voluntary program of , which was enacted in 2021.

Employers should take a moment before 2022 ends to make sure their policies meet 2023 requirements.

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