Statutory Update – 2020 Rate and Benefit Updates & Other Leave News

December 10, 2019

2020 Rate and Benefit Updates

California SDI/PFL

2019 January 1, 2020 July 1, 2020
Maximum Duration (PFL Only) 6 weeks No change 8 weeks
Premium/Contribution Rate 1.0% No change No change
Taxable Wage Ceiling $118,371 $122,909 No change
Maximum Annual Contribution $1,183.71 $1,229.09 No change
Maximum Weekly Benefit $1,252 $1,300 No change
State Average Weekly Wage $1,242.78 $1,325.00 No change

Hawaii TDI

2019 January 1, 2020  
Maximum Weekly Wage Base $1,088.08 $1,119.44
Maximum Weekly Benefit $632 $650
Maximum Weekly Deduction $5.44 $5.60

New Jersey TDI/FLI

2019 January 1, 2020 July 1, 2020
Maximum Duration (FLI only) 6 weeks

42 days intermittent

No change 12 weeks

56 days intermittent

Benefit Percentage 66 2/3% No change 85%
Maximum Weekly Benefit $650 $667 $881
Employee Taxable Wage Base $34,400 $134,900 No change
Employer Taxable Wage Base $34,400 $35,300 No change
Employee Contribution Rate TDI: .17% of taxable wages

FLI: .08% of taxable wages

TDI: .26% of taxable wages

FLI: .16% of taxable wages

No change
Maximum Annual Deduction TDI: $58.48

FLI: $27.52

TDI: $350.74

FLI: $215.84

No change
Alternative Earnings Test $8,600 $10,000 No change
Base Week Amount $172 $200 No change

New York PFL*

2019 January 1, 2020  
Benefit Duration 10 weeks 10 weeks
Benefit Percentage 55% 60%
State Average Weekly Wage $1,357.11 $1,401.17
Maximum Benefit $746.41 $840.70
Contribution Rate 0.153% 0.270%
Maximum Annual Contribution $107.97 $196.72

Rhode Island TDI/TCI

2019 January 1, 2020  
Contribution Rate 1.1% 1.3%
Taxable Wage Base $71,000 $72,300
Maximum Annual Contribution $781.00 $939.90
Maximum Weekly Benefit

$867; $1,170 with dependency allowance(7/1/19-6/30/20)

* No changes to New York DBL or to Puerto Rico SINOT

Other Leave News

California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Amendment

On October 10, 2019, the governor of California signed AB 1748 to amend CFRA to align eligibility requirements for flight deck and cabin crew members with those under FMLA.  Effective January 1, 2020, a flight deck or cabin crew employee will be eligible for CFRA if he or she has at least 12 months of service with the employer and has, during the preceding 12-month period, worked at least 504 hours and been paid for 60% of the applicable monthly guarantee (as defined).

District of Columbia Paid Family Leave (DC PFL)

RemindersBeginning January 1, 2020, employers must begin providing their employees notice about DC PFL:

  1. Poster (physical)
  2. Individual notice (paper or electronic) – At hire, Annually, At the time of need for leave

The Department of Employment Services (DOES) has posted the model notice on its website.

Premium remittance and reporting for October through December, 2019, are due by January 31, 2020. Submission is managed via ESSP.

Duluth, Minnesota, Earned Sick and Safe Time

As previously reported, beginning January 1, 2020, employers with 5 or more employees must provide employees working in the city one hour of paid time off for every 50 hours worked, which can be used to attend to the employee’s or a covered family member’s health needs, or for reasons associated with domestic violence or stalking. The city has posted additional resources on its website to assist employers, such as administrative guidelines, FAQ and the notice that must be posted in a conspicuous place where employees can reasonably be expected to see it.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML)

RemindersPrivate MA PFML plan applications must be submitted by December 20, 2019, in order for an employer to avoid State Plan contributions for the period of October 1 through December 31, 2019. The effective date for approved exemption applications submitted prior to December 20 will be October 1, 2019. This retroactive approval is only applicable to the first quarter of PFML. Future approvals will be effective the first day of the calendar quarter following approval.  All plans must offer benefits effective January 1, 2021.

Premium remittance and reporting for October through December, 2019 are due by January 31, 2020. Submission is managed via MassTaxConnect.

Changes to Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Employee Wellness Act

On August 20, 2019, Bernalillo County, NM, enacted the Employee Wellness Act (Ordinance No. 2019-17) requiring employers within the county’s unincorporated* limits to provide employees one hour of paid time off for every 32 hours worked, which can be used for any reason. On October 15 the Board of County Commissioners signed Ordinance No. 2019-29, which features the following amendments:

The original ordinance required that accrual begin on the 90th day of employment; the amendment changes this to date of employment.

The original maximum annual accrual applied to all impacted employers and was phased in over three years: 24 hours on July 1, 2020, 40 hours on July 1, 2021 and 56 hours on July 1, 2022. The amendment imposes the same limit across all impacted employers in the first year, with increases in subsequent years for employers with more than ten employees:

    • July 1, 2020 – employers with 2 or more employees: 28 hours per year
    • July 1, 2021 – employers with 11 or more employees: 44 hours per year 
    • July 1, 2022 – employers with 35 or more employees: 56 hours per yearUnder the amendment, annual use maximums mirror the accrual maximums.

Also of note is that the amendment reflects an effective date change from July 1, 2020, to January 1, 2020, though this change does not impact the date that employers are actually expected to begin leave accrual and allowance.  On October 29 county commissioners proposed a new amendment to confirm the law’s effective date as July 1, which will be voted on at a future hearing.

Employers will be required to post a notice outlining employees’ rights and responsibilities under the ordinance in a conspicuous place, in both English and Spanish; a model notice will be provided by the County.

* Excludes employers located in incorporated communities such as Albuquerque, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, and Tijeras, though Albuquerque will be conducting analysis as to whether adopting the ordinance may be feasible.

Nevada Earned Paid Leave

On October 4, 2019 the Office of the Labor Commissioner issued an advisory opinion which includes the following guidance on portions of the Earned Paid Leave Law:

    • Clarification that the 50 employee threshold is measured during 20 or more workweeks in the preceding calendar year; the 20 weeks need not be consecutive.
    • Recommendation that, if the company’s current paid leave policy fulfills the law’s requirements, the benefits handbook and/or leave policies should specify that the company’s policy meets or exceeds the requirements of Nevada Earned Paid Leave (SB 312). It is also recommended that the policy be signed and acknowledged by the employee.
    • Excluded groups: Temporary, Seasonal and On-Call/Per Diem Employees are defined as employees expected to be employed for fewer than 90 days. As any work assignment exceeding 90 days may trigger a presumption of coverage, it is recommended that employers track hours for short-term and on-call employees.
    • The law states that payout of unused time at termination is allowed but not required; however, the opinion suggests that “If the employer has a policy, contract, agreement, handbook, or collective bargaining agreement for paying out front loaded leave or accrued leave, then it is recommended that the leave be paid out. If there is no policy, contract, agreement, handbook, or collective bargaining agreement, then the employer does not have to pay out the paid leave.”
    • Employee notice of leave: Describes 30 days as “optimal” notice for foreseeable leave and suggests employers establish a notice requirement in writing.

The ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2020.  Employers are required to post a notice in a place accessible to all employees, as well as provide an accounting each payday of hours of paid leave available for use.

New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)

New York’s Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has posted 2020 information on the NY PFL website, including updated FAQ and model language, as well as the Statement of Rights that must be provided to the employee at the time of need for leave.

San Antonio, Texas Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance Postponed

On November 22, 2019, Judge Peter Sakai granted a temporary injunction preventing San Antonio’s Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance from taking effect on December 1.  The injunction is in response to a lawsuit filed by business owners, who argued that the law violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act.  The Ordinance will remain pending until it can be reviewed in court; a trial date has not yet been set.

Paid Sick and Safe Leave ordinances have also been passed in Austin and Dallas.  Austin’s law has suffered legal obstacles similar to San Antonio’s and is pending review by the Texas Supreme Court; Dallas’ went into effect on August 1.

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WA PFML)
    • The Employment Security Department (ESD) has developed an employee-friendly website featuring a timeline, claim filing instructions and family leave guides.
    • ESD is still awaiting guidance from the IRS regarding the tax treatment of WA PFML benefits. Trion will provide an update once we receive notification of the decision.
    • The timeline for Phase Six of rulemaking has been extended, with the filing date moved from November 18 to December 11. It is unclear how this delay impacts the effective date of the rules, which focus on appeals and “necessary changes”.

RemindersLeave entitlement begins January 1, 2020!

WA PFML repeals the Washington Family Leave Act (WA FLA) effective December 31, 2019. Employers are encouraged to discuss with their leave administrators how WA FLA claims will be handled during the transition.

Beginning January 1, 2020 notice of rights and benefits under WA PFML must be provided to current employees, plus within 5 days of an individual’s (1) 7th consecutive day of absence, or (2) notice to the employer that absence is due to medical or family leave. Notice must also be posted in a conspicuous place.  A sample notice is expected from the Employment Security Department (ESD) prior to January 1. In the interim, a paystub insert, infographics and sample employee handbook text via the Employer Toolkit are available. 

Premium remittance and reporting for October through December, 2019 are due by January 31, 2020. Details and instructions may be found on the WA PFML Reporting page.

Please contact your Trion Account Team with specific questions about these or other updates.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. Copyright © 2020 Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company. All rights reserved.

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