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On Deck for 2023: Leave Law Changes

mother does yoga with baby beside her - while she is on a leave of absence for work

Every year, alongside New Year’s Resolutions, employers should prepare for state leave law changes going into effect. We’ve summarized a few of the most notable items for 2023 below:  

California 

In September 2022, California enacted CA A 1041. This piece of legislation, introduced in February 2021, modifies the California Family Rights Act and California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. It expanded the class of people for whom an employee may take leave to care for to include a “designated person.” The bill defines “designated person” to mean any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. The bill authorizes a designated person to be identified at the time the employee requests the leave and allows employers to limit an employee to 1 designated person per 12-month period. This expansion goes into effect January 1, 2023. 

California also enacted CA A 1949 in September. This bill created an unpaid bereavement leave for eligible employees. Eligible employees would be entitled to 5 days of job-protected bereavement leave upon the death of a “family member.” The bill requires that leave be completed within 3 months of the date of death. Under the bill, in the absence of an existing policy, the bereavement leave is unpaid; however, the bill authorizes an employee to use certain other leave balances (such as vacation, paid sick leave, personal leave, or other compensatory time off) otherwise available to the employee. This leave becomes available on January 1, 2023. 

Colorado 

Colorado’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program has a few requirements employers should note. First, the program will begin receiving premium remittances from covered employers and employees starting January 1, 2023. Benefits will become available to workers starting in January 2024. Furthermore, the FAMLI statute requires that employers post a notice to inform workers about the FAMLI program. The 2023 Required Program Notice must be posted in a prominent location in workplaces no later than January 1, 2023. The Required Program Notice, Paycheck Stuffer, and the 2023 Handbook can be found in the FAMLI Employer Toolkit. Additionally, all employers, regardless of size, will be required to register with the FAMLI Division before the first premium payment is due at the end of the first quarter of 2023. For additional information and resources regarding Colorado’s FAMLI program, you can visit the program’s website.  

Illinois 

In January 2022, Illinois enacted IL S 3120. This bill modifies the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave statute, changing it to the “Family Bereavement Leave Act.” It expands the law by adding the definition of a “covered family member” and allowing the 2 weeks (10 working days) of unpaid bereavement leave to: 

  1. attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral of a covered family member; 
  2. make arrangements necessitated by the death of the covered family member; 
  3. grieve the death of the covered family member; or 
  4. be absent from work due to:  
    • a miscarriage;  
    • an unsuccessful round of specified assisted reproductive procedures;  
    • a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party;  
    • a failed surrogacy agreement;  
    • a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility; or  
    • a stillbirth.  

The Act also specifies what type of certifying documentation would support leave as described in paragraph (4) above. These changes to the current law go into effect January 1, 2023. 

New Hampshire 

Beginning January 1, 2023, New Hampshire’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program goes “live.” All employers in New Hampshire will be able to participate in the New Hampshire Paid Family and Medical Leave plan, the voluntary insurance plan that provides New Hampshire workers with wage replacement coverage for specific leaves of absence. The program will be implemented and administered by MetLife, the Request for Proposals (RFP) bid winner. Additional information about the program can be found in the program’s website.  

New York 

Last year, in November 2021, New York enacted NY S 2928. This bill expanded the New York Paid Family Leave law to include sibling as a covered relationship for family care purposes. “Sibling” is defined to include a biological or adopted sibling, a half-sibling, or stepsibling. The new relationship becomes available to eligible employees on January 1, 2023. 

Oregon 

Oregon’s paid leave program, Paid Leave Oregon, is also slated for 2023. Specifically, starting January 1, 2023, employees and employers will begin remitting contributions into the new program. Employees can start applying for benefits on September 3, 2023. Additionally, employers can submit equivalent plan applications to the Paid Leave Oregon program online.

Rhode Island 

Mid-2021, Rhode Island enacted RI S 688. This bill amended Rhode Island’s paid leave benefit program, called Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI). The bill increased TCI benefits to 6 weeks in a benefit year, beginning January 1, 2023. You can find more information about the TCI program at the program’s website

Author Biography 
Katarina Niparko, Esq., is a Compliance Counsel for Alight. Prior to joining the company, she worked for top nation-wide law firms, representing clients with all areas of labor and employment law, including litigating employment discrimination claims and preparing employment policies, handbooks, and HR training. Ms. Niparko graduated Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, and Order of the Barristers from Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law in 2018 and is admitted to the Colorado Bar. 

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