Knowing the State of the States: Changes in State-Mandated Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave

As states grow their Family Leave Programs (FLP) through legislation and ballot initiatives, the pressure is on for employers to keep on top of the rapidly changing landscape of laws. Though the purpose of family leave programs remains consistent – easing employees’ financial burden when they need to take time from work to act as a caregiver – the execution of these programs varies in many ways, including length of leave, paid leave amount, and funding mechanism.

Whether a state provides or requires employers to provide short-term disability insurance, or if they have chosen to combine their state-mandated short-term disability insurance with a paid family leave program to create a Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, Voya has created a reader-friendly summary that allows you to identify new legislation by state quickly.

Below are some of the biggest changes to take note of, while the rest of the State of the States overview can be found here.

Beginning on January 1, 2021, California’s Paid Family Leave will expand to add deployment of an employee’s family member in the U.S. Armed Forces as a covered leave reason. 

Voters in Colorado voted in favor of Proposition 118, which will create a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program in the state that allows employees to take paid leave from their jobs to have a baby, receive medical treatment or care for a sick loved one, among other things. Starting on 1/1/2023, employers and employees must contribute to fund the program.

The payroll tax to fund Connecticut’s PFML program begins on January 1, 2021. Eligible employees will be able to begin applying for benefits on January 1, 2022, with written notice of the program provided to all employees by July 1, 2022. 

Eligible employees may begin to apply for benefits for bonding with children, their own serious health condition and the care of a covered service member or military deployment on January 1, 2021. On July 1, 2021, eligible employees may begin to apply for benefits for care of a family member with a serious health condition. 

Employee payroll contributions for Oregon’s PFML program will begin on January 1, 2022. A year later, on January 1, 2023, eligible employees may begin to apply for benefits. Employers are required to participate unless they have an approved equivalent plan.

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We are providing this content for informational purposes. This content is subject to change as the situation warrants. We reserve the right to modify, alter, rescind, extend or otherwise amend the information and actions presented here via subsequent versions or communications. This is not legal advice, and you should not rely on or construe it as legal advice. We continually monitor state guidelines, it is our intent to always adhere to those requirements. A complete description of benefits, limitations and exclusions is still provided in your policy and/or certificate of insurance and riders. We encourage you to reference those documents as needed.  

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