Learn

What’s new with state paid family
and medical leave?

With many states passing their own paid family and medical leave (PFML) and paid family leave (PFL) mandates, more employees are able to take the time they need during critical points in their life. But it can be challenging for employers to stay compliant on new regulations, especially if they have employees in various states.

Here are the latest updates you should know about. Please note that the following information is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. We recommend employers speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure compliance with applicable PFML and PFL mandates.

 

Paid Family and Medical Leave Programs

California

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

PFL is designed to partially replace the wages of employees who need time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or registered domestic partner; or to bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly fostered child.

  • Eligibility: Employees must be part- or full-time and contribute to the State Disability Insurance program through mandatory payroll deductions at some point during the prior 18 months, or are a mother, father or adoptive/foster parent who is earning less or no money due to time taken off from work to bond with a new child.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to six weeks within any 12-month period. Effective July 2020, the maximum duration will increase to eight weeks.
  • Contributions: This program is funded by mandatory employee payroll deductions.

 

State website: www.edd.ca.gov

 

State Disability Insurance (SDI)

SDI provides short-term benefits to eligible employees who have lost wages when unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury or pregnancy.

Learn more about California SDI >

 

Symetra Services:

  • We are continuing to monitor the rulemaking process to determine the best offering to provide to our customers.

Connecticut

Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI)

Starting January 2022, FMLI will provide family and medical leave to eligible employees.

  • Eligibility: Employees must have earned at least $2,325 within a base period or the first four of the five most recently completed quarters, and be presently employed or employed within the previous 12 weeks.
  • Benefits: Up to 12 weeks of combined family or medical leave.
  • Contributions: Employee contributions will begin starting January 2021. Contributions will be capped at 0.5% of their weekly wages up to the Social Security maximum. Employers do not have a financial obligation.

 

Symetra Services:

  • We are continuing to monitor the rulemaking process to determine the best offering to provide to our customers.

District of Columbia

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

Starting July 2020, PFL can partially replace wages of employees who take leave to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition or care for their own serious health condition.

  • Eligibility: Employees must spend more than 50% of their work time with an employer in the District of Columbia.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to eight weeks to bond with a new child, up to six weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or up to two weeks to care for an employee’s own serious health condition.
  • Contributions: This program is funded by a quarterly employer payroll tax of 0.62% of their covered employees’ total wages.

 

State website: www.dc.gov

 

Symetra Services:

  • The District of Columbia requires all covered employers to participate in the Department of Employment Services DC PFL program. As such, Symetra cannot offer fully insured or ASO coverage for DC PFL. Employers can use private disability insurance to complement DC PFL and fill gaps in pay and leave duration.

Hawaii

Hawaii Family Leave Law (HFLL)

HFLL is designed to provide unpaid leave to employees to care for their child, spouse, reciprocal beneficiary or parent with a serious health condition, or to bond with a child after birth or adoption.

  • Eligibility: Employees must have worked for at least six consecutive months in Hawaii.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to four weeks.
  • Contributions: This program is unpaid and does not require funding.

 

State website: www.labor.hawaii.gov

 

Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

TDI provides partial wage replacement to eligible employees for non-work-related injuries or sickness.

Learn more about Hawaii TDI >

 

Symetra Services:

  • We offer tracking and management of the Hawaii HFLL through our leave management product.
  • Due to regulations related to paying Hawaii TDI via a local entity, we have contracted with a third-party vendor (MDX) to manage and pay this benefit to our Hawaii customers.

Massachusetts

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

Starting January 2021, PFML can partially replace the wages of employees who take family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition; bond with a child during the first 12 months of birth, adoption or foster placement; or manage family affairs when a family member is on active duty in the armed forces. Medical leave can be taken for employees who are unable to work due to their own serious health condition.

  • Eligibility: Generally, employees are eligible for benefits if they’re paid wages by a Massachusetts employer, reside in Massachusetts and are paid for contract services by a Massachusetts entity that’s required to report payment for services on IRS Form 1099-MISC for more than 50% of its workforce, or they are self-employed and have opted into the program.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to 20 weeks to care for employees’ own serious health conditions; up to 12 weeks for the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child; and up to 26 weeks to care for a covered service member with a serious health condition. Starting July 2021, leave can be taken for up to 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Contributions: 60% of the medical leave is funded by the employer, and 40% is funded by employee payroll. 100% of the family leave is funded by employee payroll deduction.

 

State website: www.mass.gov

 

Symetra Services:

  • We will be offering a fully insured product for combined Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits. This will include tracking, management and payment of all benefits. A self-insured option is also available to clients willing to fulfill state bonding requirements associated with Massachusetts PFML.

New Jersey

Family Leave Insurance (FLI)

FLI is designed to partially replace wages of employees who need to care for a seriously ill or injured family member or to bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed foster child.

  • Eligibility: Employees who have paid into the program through their employer and have met the minimum gross earnings requirements are eligible for leave. In 2019, employees need to have worked 20 weeks while earning at least $172 weekly, or have earned a combined total of $8,600 within the base year of the claim submission.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to six weeks in a 12-month period. Benefits pay out at two-thirds of employees’ average weekly wage, up to the set maximum for that year.
  • Contributions: This program is 100% funded by employee payroll deductions.

 

State website: www.myleavebenefits.nj.gov

 

Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

TDI provides benefit payments to employees who suffer from a non-work-related illness, injury or other disability that prevents them from working.

 

Learn more about New Jersey TDI >

 

Symetra Services:

  • Our Case Managers will refer employees to the state website to file their Family Leave Insurance benefit.
  • We offer coverage for New Jersey TDI through a fully insured disability product.

New York

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

PFL is designed to partially replace wages of employees who need time off work to bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child; to care for a family member with a serious health condition; or to assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is deployed abroad on active military service.

  • Eligibility: After 175 days of working, part-time employees who work less than 20 hours a week and have a regular schedule are eligible. Full-time employees who work 20 hours or more a week on a regular schedule are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.
  • Benefits: In 2019, leave can be taken for up to 10 weeks at 55% of employees’ average weekly wage (AWW), up to 55% of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW).
  • In 2020, leave can be taken for up to 10 weeks at 60% AWW, up to 60% SAWW
  • In 2021, leave can be taken for up to 12 weeks at 67% AWW, up to 67% SAWW
  • Contributions: This program is funded by payroll deductions from covered employees. Each year, the Department of Financial Services sets the employee contribution rate to match the cost of coverage.

State website: www.paidfamilyleave.ny.gov

 

Disability Benefits Law (DBL)

DBL requires employers to provide employees benefits if suffering from a non-work-related injury or illness.

 

Learn more about New York DBL >

Review the DBL vs. PFL comparison chart >

 

Symetra Services:

  • We offer a fully insured PFL product that is a rider to our DBL coverage. We manage and track these leaves and complete all state reporting requirements.

Oregon

Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFML)

Starting in January 2023, PFML can provide benefit payments to employees who take leave to bond with a new child, care for a family member, care for the employee’s own health condition, or for safe leave.

  • Eligibility: Employees must earn at least $1,000 in wages during the base year or during an alternate base wage.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to 12 weeks. In some cases, leave can be taken for an additional two weeks.
  • Contributions: This program is funded through a combination of employee payroll deductions and employer contributions. Small businesses are exempt from contributions.*

*Enrolled From HB 2005 — B
https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2005/Enrolled

 

Symetra Services:

  • We are continuing to monitor the rulemaking process to determine the best offering to provide to our customers.

Rhode Island

Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI)

TCI provides eligible claimants caregiver benefits to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law or grandparent; or to bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed foster child.

  • Eligibility: Employees must earn wages in Rhode Island and pay into the TCI fund. For claims filed January 1, 2019 or later, employees must have been paid at least $12,600 in the base period for the claim. If the employee did not earn that amount, they may still be eligible if:
  • They earned at least $2,100 in one of their base period quarters.
  • Their total base period taxable wages are at least 1½ times their highest quarter of earnings.
  • Their base period taxable wage equals at least $4,200.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up to four weeks.
  • Contributions: This program is funded exclusively by employees.

 

State website: www.dlt.ri.gov

 

Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

TDI provides benefit payments to employees who are unable to work due to a temporary disability or injury.

 

Learn more about Rhode Island TDI >

 

Symetra Services:

  • Our Case Managers will refer employees to the state website to file their TCI leave or TDI claim. The TDI benefit the employee will receive from the state will offset any benefit that they might be entitled to through a separate short-term disability policy.

Washington

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

Starting January 2020, PFML can partially replace wages of employees who take family leave to care and bond with a baby after birth or placement, to care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event, or for certain military-connected events. Medical leave can be taken for employees to care for themselves in relation to an illness or medical event.

  • Eligibility:
  • Wage replacement: Employees must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period—the first four or last five completed calendar quarters starting from when they make their claim for benefits. If it’s a voluntary plan, they must have worked at least 340 hours for the employer during the 12 months prior to the date of leave.
  • Job protection: Under the voluntary plan, employees must have worked at least nine months and 965 hours during the 12 months preceding the date of leave. For the state plan, employees must have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months and have worked for the employer for 12 months.
  • Benefits: Leave can be taken for up 12 weeks. For employees with both family and medical events in one year, leave can be taken up to 16 weeks. Leave up to 18 weeks can be taken if a serious health condition during pregnancy results in incapacity.
  • Contributions: This program is funded by employees and employers. In 2019, the rate is 0.4%—63% paid by the employee and 37% by the employer. Employers have the option to cover some or all their employees’ premiums.

 

State website: www.paidleave.wa.gov

 

Symetra Services:

  • We are offering self-insured plans that will provide employers with the option to have Symetra determine eligibility, track the leaves and provide advice regarding benefit calculations.

Potential Upcoming State Leave Programs

Symetra will continue to monitor legislation to determine what products we will offer to our customers for the following states.

Maine

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

This program would cover both family leave and leave to care for employees’ own non-work related illness, injury or disability.

  • Proposed benefits: It would allow up to 12 weeks for family leave and 20 weeks for medical leave.

Pennsylvania

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

This program would allow employees to take leave to care for a family member or to bond with a newborn child.

  • Proposed benefits: Leave could be taken for up to 12 weeks.

Symetra Life Insurance Company, 777 108th Avenue NE, Suite 1200, Bellevue, WA 98004.

First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY. Mailing address: P.O. Box 34690, Seattle, WA 98124.

Symetra Life Insurance Company is a direct subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation. First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York is a direct subsidiary of Symetra Life Insurance Company and is an indirect subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation (collectively, “Symetra”). Neither Symetra Financial Corporation nor Symetra Life Insurance Company solicits business in the state of New York and they are not authorized to do so. Each company is responsible for its own financial obligations.

Symetra® is a registered service mark of Symetra Life Insurance Company.

Symetra assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of any information provided herein. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. We recommend employers speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure compliance with applicable PFML and PFL mandates.

The information on this page was updated as of November 2019.