The New York State Worker’s Compensation Board issued five proposed regulations on May 24, 2017, for organizations to incorporate, when implementing the New York Paid Family Leave requirements on January 1, 2018. The initial regulations were published on February 22, 2017 and included a comment period. The new regulations released on May 24, 2017 will have a 30-day comment period.
Below are 5 proposed regulation changes:
- An employee using intermittent leave must give the employer separate notice each day of use of the Paid Family Leave. Previous language stated that employees only needed to provide notice once to employers when using intermittent leave, which was inconsistent with the FMLA rules.
- Collective bargaining language must provide benefits as favorable as the Paid Family Leave law, including the length of leave and amount of pay. This section is still evolving and negotiated language can include the union responsibility for time records and pay deductions. This has not been finalized and more changes will come to this section.
- Paid Family Leave language has been clarified that the eligibility of employees working 20-hours or more per week is measured based on the number of weeks in employment, which must be at least 26-weeks. Employees who work less than 20-hours per week is measured in days, which must be at least 175 working days.
- The Worker’s Compensation Board clarified the July 1, 2017 deductions language. The employer can start taking payroll deductions on July 1, 2017, but cannot take deductions more than the maximum weekly contribution to retroactively cover the cost of providing Paid Family Leave. The reason for early deductions is to offset the cost of acquiring the mandated insurance policy.
- The Worker’s Compensation Board issued additional guidance on accrued leave running concurrently with Paid Family Leave. The complexity of this language and requirements is related to accrued leave is still being drafted. Further clarification is needed from the Board on the concurrent and accrued requirements, which include; FMLA, worker’s comp, and disability. More updates to come on this proposed language.
Now is the time to begin reviewing, drafting, updating and revising policies and procedures related to FMLA and Paid Family Leave. January 1, 2018 is only six short months away. Continue to monitor for updates and changes to the proposed language. If you are confused, ask questions and do not assume. This law is very complex, it continues to change as concerns arise and the implementation will impact most organizations throughout New York State.
New York State Paid Family Leave Website
Employers Providing Pawternity Leave to Employee’s (End on a Positive)
– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant
[i] Guardian PPT Training Slides
Progress is being made. On May 17, 2017, the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted unanimously to move The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act forward. This new act “would provide federal funds to increase access to career and technical education (CTE) and, in particular, to extend such access to more students from disadvantaged communities.”[i] As businesses needs have evolved, so too must the skills of our employees. Skilled workers are needed in many industries throughout the country; manufacturing, construction, carpentry, healthcare, computer programming, engineering, auto mechanics, transportation, HVAC, plumbing, electric and welding. The bill is designed for U.S. workers compete in a global economy.
Below are 4 updates on expectations and path-forward:
- Employers need to be involved in the training and education processes for current or prospective workers. “Organizations must ensure that state and local governments know what their skill needs are so that officials can create programs under this legislation.”[ii] Do not be afraid to provide feedback on both the positives and negatives of a program.
- State and local governments would be responsible for crafting and designing programs that best fit the needs of employers in the local communities. Upon approval and implementation, state and federal governments would also have to submit results of the effectiveness of the CTE trainings to federal agencies.
- In 2016, a similar bill went to the Senate, but ran out of time when it was delayed by debates over the education secretary’s role in deciding how states can potentially spend money under the 2016 proposed law. The role of the Senate debates or education secretary is yet to be determined on progressing the new bill forward and spending.
- The legislation is focused on post-secondary training for trade jobs in the U.S., that do not require a four-year degree. The impact of this bill, if passed will be significant as there is a need throughout the country to have trained and skilled workers in many industries.
The value of The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, could have great potential for additional training’s in our area. Remember, this is federal legislation and does not include any training funding from New York State. The key to any legislation such as this is the effectiveness of the training. As employer’s we need to offer feedback and input into these programs, while holding state and local government entities accountable. Developing training takes a tremendous amount of resources, resources that we are paying for. You get out what you put in. The employees and/or potential employees do have responsibility in ensuring that the training is effective and successful as well. We will continue to monitor the act as it progress through the different branches of government for any amendments or updates.
– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant