Trying to juggle everything as an employer or leave case manager can be challenging! Not only are you concerned with compliance, you also have to stay on top of new leave laws and even changes made to existing leave laws. It's a lot to keep up with and instead of remembering all this information, we've made your life a little easier by compiling the most important changes made to existing leaves that happened in 2019.
Updated Leave Laws
Staying compliant with leave laws is crucial - not only for your employees to take the right amount of leave (along with legitimate reasons for their leave) but also to keep your organization safe from lawsuits involving non-compliance. Various leave laws were updated last year, so here's a recap of them:
Michigan Paid Sick Leave
The changes made went into effect on March 29, 2019 and amended the Earned Sick Time Act. This law applies to employers who have 50 or more employees and under this amended law, employees are entitled to 40 hours of paid sick time annually. Employees are allowed to take time in one-hour increments, unless the employer has a different policy.
New Jersey Family Leave Act
The changes made for the New Jersey Family Leave Act went into effect on July 1, 2019. These changes include additional leave relationships to include: adult child, child of sibling/step-sibling, child-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, next of kin, parent of domestic partner, sibling, sibling-in-law and other. This leave was amended to include smaller companies providing leave to their employees (companies with 30 or more employees, instead of 50 or more employees).
Texas Breastfeeding Time Leave
The amendment made to the Texas Breastfeeding Time Leave, a job-protected leave that went into effect on September 1, 2019, permits a mother to express milk in any location she is authorized to do so.
Texas Jury Duty Leave
Two amendments to the Texas Jury Duty Leave went into effect on September 1, 2019. The first amendment prohibits an employer from dismissing or threatening to dismiss an employee for being absent from work due to jury duty. The second amendment extends job protection to an employee serving as a grand juror.
New York Domestic Violence Leave
The state of New York amended its Human Rights Law to include employment protection for victims of domestic violence and went into effect on November 18, 2019. Under this policy employers are obligated to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees who are victims of domestic violence and require a reasonable time off work (unless this causes undue hardship). Employees who use this leave are entitled to the continuation of health insurance coverage.
It's obvious that being in the know with updates made to existing leave laws is crucial! Luckily, these changes have been outlined for you right here!
Stay tuned for our next blog in this three part series - all about the 2019 Department of Labor (DOL) opinion letters. Our leave law reference guide, Leave Genius, will also keep you in the know with all of the latest leave laws and relevant information available, anytime, anywhere!
Should you have any questions regarding these updates and new laws, please consult your organization’s legal counsel.