Paid Family Leave Updates

New Jersey

Earlier this March, Democratic law makers announced a proposal to expand New Jersey’s paid leave program for workers to collect more of their missed pay.  The original law, which was passed in 2009, provides workers six weeks of paid-leave per year while they can collect two-thirds of their salary.  The new plan would provide workers 12 weeks of paid leave benefits and allow the workers to collect 80% of their salary.  The proposal needs to be approved by the Legislature and then passed by Governor Chris Christie before taking effect July 2017. 

New York

New York State officially announced regulations have been filed to implement the paid family leave program.  Governor Cuomo claims that it is the strongest and most comprehensive paid family leave policy in the nation.  The policies will be phased in over a four-year period effective January 1, 2018.  The program will provide workers with wage replacement during time away from a job to care for a new child or close relative with a serious illness and to help at home if a family member is deployed to active military service.  Workers will receive 8 weeks of coverage in 2018 at 50% of the employee’s salary.  Workers will receive 10 weeks of coverage in 2019 and 2020, then in 2021 workers will receive 12 weeks of coverage at 67% of the worker’s salary.

Seattle

On Tuesday March 21st, Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez unveiled a proposal which would provide private-sector workers paid family leave.  Under the proposal all employers in Seattle would be required to offer up to 26 weeks of paid family leave in the event of a birth, adoption, or caring for a sick family member.  Employees would be required to be paid 100% of their wages up to $1,000 per week.  In addition to paid family leave, the proposal would mandate up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave for workers.  The Washington State legislature is also currently considering two competing bills for paid family and parental leave.  The Democratic bill would provide up to 26 weeks of paid leave for a new child or a sick family member.  The Republican plan calls for up to 12 weeks of paid leave by 2023.