SB 221 – Would have allowed for up to 12 weeks of paid family medical leave.
The bill would have created the Family and Medical Leave Compensation (FMLC) program to provide wage replacement benefits to certain employees taking leave under the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the family violence leave law, as amended by the bill. It would have provided them with up to 12 weeks of weekly FMLC benefits over a 12-month period in an amount that is the lesser of the employee’s average weekly net earnings during their highest earning quarter within the five most recently completed calendar quarters or $1,000 (or an inflation adjusted equivalent). The program would have been funded by employee contributions.
Under the bill, employees who would have been eligible for benefits included:
- Individuals who earned at least $2,325 (or an inflation adjusted equivalent) from one or more employers during their highest earning quarter within the five most recently completed calendar quarters and are (a) employed by an employer with at least two employees or (b) unemployed and
- Sole practitioners and self-employed people who enroll in the program.
The bill would have required the Department of Labor (DOL) to administer the FMLC program and, among other things, determine the amount that employees must contribute to the program to ensure its solvency and that total employee contributions are at least $4 million per month. The bill would have also directed DOL, by March 1, 2017, to begin collecting contributions from all employees who work for employers with at least two employees and the self-employed and sole proprietors who enroll in the program. The program would have been required to begin paying FMLC benefits by March 1, 2018.
The bill would have established the FMLC Trust Fund to hold employee contributions and pay for FMLC benefits and administrative costs. Any funds expended from the General Fund to administer the program or provide benefits would have been required to be reimbursed to the General Fund by June 30, 2018.