December 5, 2022

U.S. State and Canada Updates

U.S. State (and D.C.) Updates

California

San Francisco

A reminder that as of January 1, 2023, full-time employees are entitled to Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) hours equal to the number of hours they work or take paid leave over a two-week period, capped at 80 hours. Part-time employees are entitled to hours equal to the average number of hours worked or on paid leave over a two-week period. We discussed PHEL in more detail here.

Colorado

Department of Labor and Employment (DLE)

The online employer portal, My FAMLI+ Employer, is now live and accessible to all Colorado employers. As a reminder, contributions should be remitted to the program effective January 1, 2023. Benefits become payable under the program effective January 1, 2024. Employers are not required to complete registration to MY FAMLI+ until the first premium payments and wage reports are due on April 30, 2023 for the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. The DLE is hosting two webinars in December to assist employers in the process:

December 6, 2022 at 11-11:30am MST

December 19, 2022 at 11-11:30am MST

You can submit questions prior to a webinar via this form. If you are unable to secure a spot to a webinar, the DLE is streaming each webinar on their YouTube channel. Webinars are recorded as well and can be found here.

Several employer toolkit materials are now available in Spanish. You can find them here.

The Department of Revenue has provided guidance to the FAMLI program that you may find useful:

FAMLI premiums should be considered post-tax deductions that do not reduce an employee’s taxable income. The deductions should be reported on IRS form W-2 in Box 14 with “FAMLI” noted. The FAMLI division will issue IRS form 1099-G to each employee who receives FAMLI benefits. Benefits received will be reported in Box 1, which is labeled “unemployment compensation”. Per the IRS, the box is also used for governmental paid leave programs. As far as benefit taxability, FAMLI benefits are not subject to state income tax. However, the IRS has not made a clear decision as to whether or not FAMLI benefits are subject to federal income tax. Therefore, employees should consult a tax professional for advice.

The DLE has updated INFO #6B, which provides guidance regarding paid leave under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). As a reminder, employers are required to provide accrued leave and public health emergency leave under the HFWA. The DLE provides interpretive notice and formal opinions, or INFOs, on various topics to assist employers.

District of Columbia

You may recall from last year that the District amended the DC Family and Medical Leave Act to where employees can meet the 12-months of service (with the same employer) requirement in non-consecutive months in the seven years prior to a requested leave start date. Prior to November 13, 2021, to be eligible, employees were required to work for the employer for at least one year without a break in service. Note, the 1,000 hours worked (during the 12 months of service) requirement remains unchanged. The Office of Human Rights has now released an updated required poster with the amended requirement. This poster must be displayed in your workplace.

Hawaii

The Aloha State has released changes to its Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program for 2023:

  • The maximum weekly benefit will increase from $697.00 to $765.00
  • The weekly taxable wage ceiling will increase from $1,200.30 to $1,318.48
  • The weekly cap for employee contributions will increase from $6.00 to $6.59

More details can be found here.

Massachusetts

Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML)

One of our valued client partners let us know that the link to the 2023 DFML required poster in our previous newsletter led them to a “forbidden page”. You can find the poster here.

New York

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has updated claim forms for Paid Family Leave (PFL). The forms have been updated to include a “Gender X” option, remove unnecessary gender pronouns, and include siblings (for family care). A template notice has been created to assist employers with sharing the “sibling care” update with their employees (not required). Here are the links to revised claim forms:

Rhode Island

A quick reminder that the duration for Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) effective January 1, 2023, is increasing from 5 weeks to 6 weeks.

Washington

Employment Security Department (ESD)

The ESD has released the 2023 workplace poster for the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program in English and Spanish. The (optional) paycheck insert and the Employer Toolkit have also been updated for the new year.

The ESD has also updated their guides for employees earlier this year: Family GuideParent Guide, and Benefit Guide. These are optional to provide to employees.

Canada – All employers (including private employers)

The duration of Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits is increasing from 15 weeks to 26 weeks effective December 18, 2022. All claims on or after December 18, will be eligible for up to 26 weeks.

As a reminder, we also provided the 2023 Employment Insurance rates in a previous newsletter. The 2023 Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) rates are still pending and are typically confirmed around mid-December.

Canada – Federally Regulated Employers

Unpaid Medical Leave

Effective December 18, 2022, the same date as the extension of Employment Insurance Sickness benefits (EI), the balance of unpaid medical leave for federally regulated private-sector employees is increasing from 17 to 27 weeks under the Canada Labour Code (CLC), to align with the increase in Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

Paid Medical Leave

Further, as we’ve discussed in previous newsletters, Canada’s Paid Medical Leave provisions came into force for federally regulated employers on December 1, 2022. As a recap, federal employees covered under Part III of the Canada Labor Code (CLC) will be subject to the following:

  • A current employee who is employed as of December 1, 2022, will accrue 3 days of paid medical leave on December 31, 2022. Those hired after December 1, 2022, will accrue 3 days of medical leave after 30 days of continuous employment.
  • After the first 30 days of continuous employment, at the beginning of each month, an employee earns 1 day of paid medical leave, up to a maximum of 10 paid days per calendar year.
  • In each subsequent calendar year, at the beginning of each month after completing 1 month of continuous employment, the employee earns 1 day of paid medical leave, up to 10 days per year maximum.
  • Paid medical leave days not taken in a calendar year, will be carried over into the next year. However, the carried over leave will count towards the total 10 days of paid leave per year (so that employees can’t take more than 10 days of paid leave per year).
  • The leave doesn’t have to be taken continuously, but employers can require that the paid days be taken in a minimum of one full day.
  • Each day of pay should be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • A medical certificate may be required within 15 days of the employee’s return to work, but only if an employee takes at least 5 consecutive days of Paid Medical Leave.
  • Employees who change employers due to the lease or transfer of a work, undertaking or business or due to a contract being awarded through a retendering process are deemed to be continuously employed with one employer.

You can find more information on the federal government’s website regarding medical leave types, both paid and unpaid.

We recommend that any federally regulated employers review this, and the paid medical leave regulations to ensure their policies and procedures are in compliance with the law.

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