Paid Family Leave and Family and Medical Leave Act Resource Center
As of 2022, nine states have paid family leave (PFL) or family and medical leave act (FMLA) legislation in place. While eligibility requirements vary slightly between the states, in general, PFL provides partial wage replacement, up to a certain percentage, for working individuals who need time off to:
- Care for a child within the first year of birth, adoption or foster care
- Plan for a spouse’s deployment or manage the household while a military spouse is deployed
- Care for an ill or disabled family member
Some states, like Connecticut, Colorado, and Massachusetts, include disability leave or medical leave for the employee as part of family leave. In these cases, a worker will receive partial wage replacement if they are ill or inured and unable to work due to an off-the-job illness or injury.
Other states, like New York and New Jersey, offer paid family leave or family leave insurance (FLI) separate from temporary disability coverage for workers. In New York, PFL can be written as a stand-alone benefit or as a rider to the state’s DBL (Disability Benefits Law) short-term disability coverage.
In all cases, workers’ compensation is available in all states to cover job-related illnesses and injuries.
Learn More About Paid Family Leave and FMLA Insurance
You can learn more about the specific details of each state’s paid family leave and disability coverage on our state-specific resource pages. Here is a brief summary of private plans that are in effect now or in the works to begin within the next few years.
New York Paid Family Leave
New York was one of the first states to introduce a Paid Family Leave (PFL) program underwritten privately by the same insurance brokers that provide DBL short-term disability coverage in New York. In 2017, when PFL was introduced, it was written as a rider to DBL. Today, brokers can write a separate policy for PFL, offering lowering premiums and better service.
In 2021, New York PFL was fully rolled out, offering 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage.
Learn more about New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) here.
Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act
Connecticut combines short-term disability coverage for workers with family leave in its PFML program. One of the most generous programs in the country, with a very broad definition of who qualifies as a family member under the plan, Connecticut PFML pays 95% of an employee’s average weekly wage up to 40 times the state minimum wage, and then 60% of the average weekly wage up to 60 times the state minimum wage, with a maximum weekly benefit of $825.
Connecticut PFML went into full effect in January 2022.
Learn more about the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) here.
Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Massachusetts fully rolled out its family and medical leave benefits on January 1, 2021, although paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition did not go into effect until July 1, 2021.
Paid leave under Massachusetts FMLA varies based on the reason for the leave, ranging from 12 weeks to care for a family member or a child, up to 26 weeks to care for a family member in the military who has a serious health condition. Medical leave for the employee can last up to 20 weeks.
The benefits received vary based on the employee’s pay, and max out at a weekly benefit of $1,084.31 in 2022.
Learn More About Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) here.
New Jersey TDB and FLI
New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance is written by the state as a rider to Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) insurance. Insurance brokers can help their clients privatize TDB coverage for better service and reduced premium costs.
New Jersey FLI pays out 85% of an employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $993 per week in 2022.
Learn More About New Jersey TDB and FLI here.
Colorado recently announced its FAMLI (Family and Medical Leave Insurance) program, which will be fully rolled out by 2024. Employers are to begin deducting premiums in January 2023.
Colorado workers can receive between 37% and 90% of their average weekly wage, depending on their income level. The benefit will max out at $13,200 annually in 2024.
Learn more about Colorado FAMLI here.
Oregon Paid Leave (PFMLI)
Oregon joins the many states with a paid family and medical leave plan set to go into effect in 2023. Employers must remit premiums for Oregon Paid Leave by January 1, 2023, and employees can claim benefits starting September 3, 2023.
Benefits vary based on the state average weekly wage and the employee’s average weekly wage, but cannot be less than 5% of the SAWW or more than 120% of the SAWW. Oregon business owners will have the opportunity to write an equivalent plan, approved by the state, through a private carrier.
Learn more about Oregon Paid Leave (PFMLI) here.
Benefits of Privatizing Family Leave and Disability Coverage
In New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and, beginning in 2024, Colorado, PFL or FMLA insurance can be written by private insurance carriers rather than being provided exclusively by the state.
In all states, private coverage must be as good as, or better, than the coverage provided by the state, with premiums that are the same price or lower. This provides insurance brokers with opportunities to not just earn commission on PFL or FMLA coverage, but to save their customers money and provide a superior level of service.
Bundling paid family leave coverage with ancillary benefits, such as dental, vision, Group Life/AD&D and accident insurance can also help clients save money. A better benefits package can help employers recruit and retain top talent in a tight labor market.
Since New York PFL was announced in 2017, The DBL Center has been on the cutting-edge of paid family and medical leave news and programs. Browse our resource pages, download the forms you need, and read our blog to stay up-to-date on paid leave and disability insurance programs across the U.S.