Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) programs are gaining momentum across states, and federal proposals are now being reviewed. With many unanswered questions, knowing the landscape of benefits in your state is key to protecting employers and employees, and staying compliant with the law.
What is PFML?
PFML is a program offered at the federal, state, or local level that provides paid leave benefits. Benefits can vary by location, and may allow employees to take paid time off to:
- Care for themselves while recovering from an illness or injury
- Bond with a new child
- Support a family member with a serious medical condition
- Participate in U.S. military activities
- Seek assistance or take other safety measures
Who can participate?
Because PFML hasn't been enacted on a federal level, leave definition varies greatly for employers. For example:
- In California, only private employers are automatically covered,
- In Oregon, employers of any size are covered, and
- In Massachusetts, state and federal governmental agencies are covered if they choose to opt in.
Like employer participation, the types of employees who can participate also varies by program. For example:
- In California, public sector employees are not generally covered unless their employer opts in through collective bargaining,
- In Colorado, nearly all employees are covered, and
- In Massachusetts, employees who are covered by the state unemployment insurance law are covered, with some exceptions.
Make sure you know the details in your state.
View Your State
State programs are anything but uniform. From eligibility requirements to benefit amounts and voluntary versus mandatory contributions, learn the details of PFML in your state.
Build Back Better Act
The Build Back Better Act is the latest proposal being discussed in Congress. This bill has been through many iterations, and we don’t know when or if it’s going to pass. We’re committed to providing you with current information on the various federal proposals and what they could mean for you.
The biggest difference is one provides paid leave while the other doesn’t. FMLA refers to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, a federal law that provides employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for qualifying reasons. PFML refers to state or local laws that provide paid leave or some level of income replacement for situations similar to those also covered under FMLA.
Integration or coordination with other benefits may be possible, and can vary depending on the specific PFML program.
PFML benefit periods may vary and are dependent on a variety of factors within each federal, state, or local program.
American Fidelity is a leading insurance and services provider focused on select industries. We specialize in providing benefits communication and helping professionals navigate regulatory impacts to benefit programs in our niche markets. We will continue to monitor and communicate developments related to federal and state PFML.