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San Francisco Finalizes Paid Parental Leave Ordinance Rules
We recently blogged about San Francisco’s proposed Rules interpreting its Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (“PPLO”). The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement published the final Rules on December 23. Also published is the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Form which employers must provide to employees, and employees must complete in order to receive Supplemental Compensation under the PPLO. The Rules add clarification to the Ordinance, providing guidance on:

  • definition of “Covered Employer” and “Covered Employee”;
  • employer notification requirement (both a poster and in employer handbook);
  • procedures for coordinating CA Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits from the EDD;
  • timing of supplemental compensation payments by employer;
  • expanded definition of gross weekly wages;
  • computation of PPLO payments while an employee is on intermittent CA PFL, including examples; and
  • the appeals process.

The Rules, like the Ordinance itself, go into effect January 1, 2017.  On that date, the PPLO requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide partial wage replacement to top up the existing CA PFL benefits for employees taking leave to bond with a new child. Coverage of the law expands to include employers with 35 or more employees as of July 1, 2017 and employers with 20 or more employees as of January 1, 2018.

Washington, D.C. Passes Paid Family Leave
Washington D.C. joins California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York* in approving a PFL program, providing income replacement for an employee’s own illness, caring for an ill family member, and for bonding with a newly born, adopted, or placed by foster child. The law is funded by a .62% payroll tax on employers, and self-employed individuals can choose to opt into the program. The law covers all private non-governmental employees who work in the District of Columbia, regardless of location of residence. D.C.’s PFL program provides 8 weeks of parental leave, 6 weeks to care for an ill family member, and 2 weeks for personal medical leave.

The law passed the D.C. City Council on December 20 with a 9-4 majority, rendering the bill invulnerable to veto, noteworthy considering Mayor Bowser’s expressed concerns over the bill. The bill heads to Congress for a 30-day review period. If approved, employers will begin contributing to the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund by March 1, 2019. Payments of paid leave benefits will begin March 15, 2020.

The law requires rules to be issued within 180 days of the effective date of the law, so we anticipate further guidance on how the law will be administered.

Will the Paid Family Leave Trend Continue?
2016 saw the passage of paid family leave in New York, Montgomery County, Maryland, and San Francisco.  With legislation pre-filings underway for the 2017 session, we have already seen a paid family leave bill submitted in New Hampshire. Time will tell whether more are in store.  Either way, rest assured that ReedGroup has your back. We’ll keep you informed about the latest and greatest in leave law, while offering solutions to address your needs, from educational information to fully managed leave administration. Need help navigating your company’s leaves in the new year? Give us a call at 800-347-7443.

* Washington State passed a paid family leave law in 2007 but the law has not been funded or implemented.

Lori Welty

Lori Welty

Lori Welty, Esq. is a Compliance Attorney at Reed Group. Ms. Welty tracks and analyzes pending legislation and bills relating to leave of absence law in local municipalities, the 50 states, and the United States Congress. She provides expertise in all areas of state and federal leave law, including Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and their state law equivalents as well as disability and family leave benefits. Ms. Welty is an ongoing author of ReedGroup’s LeaveAdvisor online reference tool. She was the lead researcher and co-authored ReedGroup’s white papers regarding accommodations for pregnant employees, and paid sick leave laws