The Larkin Company Newsletter – May 2019

Updates and Reminders
Department of Labor (DOL): Update
District of Columbia: Reminder
California: Update (Action Item) and Reminder
Massachusetts: Update (Action Item)
New Jersey: Update
Washington: Reminder

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently issued an opinion letter regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  In summary, an employer or an employee may not delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA leave.  The employer is responsible in all circumstances for designating leave as FMLA-qualifying and giving notice of the designation to the employee regardless of whether the employer requires or the employee elects to substitute accrued paid leave to cover any part of the unpaid FMLA entitlement period.  Additionally, an employer may not designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA-protected.  The opinion letter may be found here: FMLA Opinion Letter-US Department of Labor.

District of Columbia

The first collection of DC Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act (“DC Paid Family Leave Law”) employer contributions begins July 1, 2019, for wages paid to covered workers from April 1 through June 30.  Private-sector employers in the District will pay a .62% tax to fund the paid-leave benefit which is 100% employer funded.  Contributions will be collected electronically by payroll tax from the Department of Employment Services (DOES) and Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL), on a quarterly basis.

Employment Development Department

California employers that coordinate pay (commonly referred to as top-up pay) with State Disability Insurance (SDI) and/or Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits may register as Less State Disability Insurance (LSDI) employers.  Essentially, employers may be added to a list for the EDD to reference when a claim for SDI or PFL benefit is received.  This will expedite processing of claims and alleviate the back and forth between the EDD and employers.  Interested employers may call 1-855-342-3645 (Customer Service Center line specially for employers) to register.  The EDD representative will conduct a brief interview regarding the respective employer’s top-up pay program.  Here is a link to the LSDI FAQs on the EDD website: https://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/faq_integration_coordination.htm.

The EDD will be sending a reminder to all Voluntary Plan employers that Voluntary Plan Administrative Change forms (DE2520BV – Attachments A, B & C) will be due June 15, 2019.  Rest assured that the Larkin Company Compliance Services team will be reaching out to all of our clients for whom we administer Voluntary Plans in order to have attachments A & C completed (we will complete Attachment B) prior to the June 15 deadline.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave recently released its required workplace poster and employee and contract worker notices.  Massachusetts employers must provide individual written notice (may be provided electronically and must be in the employee’s primary language) to their current employees as well as contract workers.  The deadline to do so has been extended from May 31 to June 30, 2019.  Thereafter, employers will need to provide notice to newly hired employees within 30 days of the first date of employment. The notice must include the opportunity for an employee to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt of the information. Employers will need to retain the signed acknowledgement-of-receipt forms.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued an updated Family Leave Insurance Notice that reflects recent changes.  The updated notice may be found here: FLI Employee Notice.

Washington

Reporting and payments for quarters one and two should be submitted between July 1 and July 31, 2019.  For more information, please refer to the Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave website reporting page: https://www.paidleave.wa.gov/reporting.

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