For the EMPLOYEE
Paid Family Leave Act or PFL
While DBL is for your employee’s own nonoccupational injury or illness, Paid Family Leave is taken to care for/bond with someone else. There are 3 main categories of qualifying events for which employees may take paid leave:
1- To provide care for a family member with a qualifying health condition
2-To bond with a child after birth, adoption, or to welcome a child into foster care
3-To cope with a military exigency leave event
Phase in Period:
2018 – 8 weeks coverage in any 52 week period (50% of past 8 weeks average income)
2019 – 10 weeks coverage in any 52 week period (55% of past 8 weeks average income)
2021 – 12 weeks coverage in any 52 week period (67% of past 8 weeks average income)
(52 week clock starts 1st day of paid leave)
PFL provides more than just a monetary benefit – it provides job security for employees out on paid leave, similar to unpaid leave under FMLA, but regardless of the size of the employer.
- •PFL benefits phase in over 4 years with gradually increasing benefit amounts and durations
- •Paid leave can be taken in daily increments and – unlike DBL – in intermittent intervals, such as every other Monday.
- • There is no “waiting period”
- • 30 days advanced employer notice is required for foreseeable leave. If this is not possible due to the circumstances (such as an accident or heart attack), then the notification needs to be given as soon as practicable (possible).
- • If a qualifying event stretches over more than 52 consecutive weeks, a new request must be submitted before the next 52-week period begins.
- • The benefit amount that is in effect at the time the leave began applies to the full duration of the paid leave for that event, even if a new calendar year with increased benefit levels falls within that period
- •An employee can’t take DBL and PFL at the same time, i.e., receive benefits for both concurrently. They have to be taken in sequence, and if the employee qualifies for both, the combined duration may not exceed 26 weeks in a consecutive 52-week period.
- • An employer cannot require employees to exhaust their accumulated PTO before letting them go out on paid family leave (unless it’s an approved FMLA leave).
PFL regulations provide specific examples of serious health conditions, including:
- *an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
- *a chronic serious health condition that requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider and continues over an extended period of time, including conditions that cause episodic incapacity, such as asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy
- *long-term illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition for which treatment may not be effective and requires continuous supervision of the family member you’re caring for, such as Alzheimer’s, a severe stroke, or the terminal stages of a disease.
- *receiving treatment (including any period of recovery therefrom) by a health care provider for restorative surgery.
- *a condition that would incapacitate the family member within 3 days of interrupting treatment, such as cancer (e.g., chemotherapy and radiation), severe arthritis (physical therapy), or kidney disease (dialysis).
- Restorative dental or plastic surgery after an injury or removal of cancerous growths.
Employees may take paid leave for multiple Paid Family Leave events in a consecutive 52-week period as long as the overall leave doesn’t exceed the maximum length they may take. For example: bonding and caring. Caring for mom and then for dad. Taking rest and recuperation leave (under military exigency) and then bonding, etc.
- •The benefit amount that is in effect at the time the leave begins applies to the full duration of the paid leave event – even if a new calendar year with increased benefit levels falls within that period.
- •Benefits are paid from the insurance carrier to the employee within 18 days of filing a completed claim.
- •Benefits paid may be offset by child support deductions
Compliments of Tom Larsen,
President, Larsen Insurance Agency, copies found at www,larseninsurance,com