By Marti Cardi, Chief Compliance Officer, Reed Group 

Keeping up to date on leave of absence laws is a challenge for every employer, particularly for those with multi-state operations.  It is especially difficult to stay abreast of proposed legislation so that the employer is compliant as soon as a new or expanded law is passed.  Some become effective immediately or within 30 days after passage!

2013 is off to a roaring start – over 96 bills have been introduced by various state legislatures since January 1 that, if passed, will either create a new leave of absence right or expand an existing leave law.  Examples:

  • 14 states have proposed Sick and Safe leaves
  • 4 states have proposed Organ/Blood donor leaves
  • 15 states have proposed new FMLA-type leaves (or amendments to their existing ones)
  • 4 states have proposed military leaves (or amendments)
  • 6 states have proposed school activity leaves
  • 8 states have proposed bonding leaves
  • 8 states have proposed crime victim leaves
  • 13 states have proposed paid family leaves (or amendments)
  • 1 pregnancy/pregnancy disability
  • 1 family military

 An interesting trend is demonstrated by a number of bills which would require that, if employers voluntarily provide paid sick or safe leave, they must allow employees to use such leave for mandated types of reasons.   For example, if passed, the following legislation would require employers who offer paid sick leave to permit its use:

  • Minnesota – to care for a family member with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive dysfunction
  • Texas – for an adopted or foster child if the leave is available for a biological child
  • Maryland – to permit employees to use it for their family members
  • Montana – for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • New York – for federal FMLA leaves and to care for family members in situations not covered by the FMLA

Need help?  Reed Group tracks state and federal leave legislation and implements developments for its clients as they occur.  And now, Reed Group has a new service that keeps employers, attorneys, human resources and benefits professionals, and others up to date on proposed leave of absence legislation.  Our Pending Legislation feature of Leave of Absence Advisor™ captures all significant proposed leave legislation and reports on it in a simple, user-friendly format that provides:

  •   bill state, name, number
  •   leave type
  •   summaries of key provisions of the bills
  •   date introduced, date of last activity
  •   current status
  •   sort by bill name and number, state, date introduced, date of last activity
  •   filter by state, leave type, bill status

For more information please call 866-218-4650.  Click here to access a free 14-day trial of Leave of Absence Advisor™, including the Pending Legislation feature.

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