(Pending!) Federal Update
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)
We are eagerly awaiting the release of the finalized Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) regulations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which are expected by December 29, 2023. It is possible that the EEOC will not release the regulations by this date, and so we may have to wait until the new year. For clients with our ADA service, we will be including administration of accommodation requests under the PWFA in 2024. We will announce when PWFA administration will begin after the final PWFA regulations are released and we’ve had ample time to review and align the regulations with our current service plan. In the meantime, we have been diligently researching the interaction between the ADA, the PWFA, and the multitude of state pregnancy and lactation accommodation laws in preparation for our enhanced administration capabilities. We will provide an update after the final PWFA regulations have been issued.
If you would like more information on the accommodation service or any other services we provide, please reach out to your Client Success Manager.
State and Local Updates
You may recall SB 616 was recently passed, which would increase the number of paid sick days from 24 to 40 hours for employees under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act effective January 1, 2024. Well, the Department of Industrial Relations has released an updated Notice to Employees template and paid sick leave poster, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions page on their website to help better address the upcoming changes. All employers should display the new poster where it can be easily read by employees. Additionally, any employers who were previously providing less than 40 hours of paid sick leave per year will need to provide the individualized notice to each of their employees.
Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance for 2024
We have some good news for any employers hurrying to make modifications to their paid time off programs… We previously covered the Chicago paid leave ordinance, reporting that it was slated to begin as of January 1, 2024. In a recent vote by the Chicago City Council, the Ordinance will now be delayed until July 1, 2024. Along with the pushback of the effective date, other amendments were made, including the following:
- Paid leave accrual and the paid sick leave accrual rate including carryover will begin as of July 1, 2024 – previously January 1, 2024.
- Medium employers (51-100 covered employees) will need to pay out all unused paid leave time upon separation or transfer outside of the geographic city limits on or after July 1, 2025 – previously January 1, 2025.
- Covered employees are now defined as those who work at least 80 hours within any 120-day period while physically within the geographic boundaries of Chicago, and once those 80 hours are reached they will be considered a covered employee for the remainder of the time they work for the employer – previously covered employees were defined as those who perform at least 2 hours of work in any 2-week period.
- Even if an employee is not considered a “covered employee,” employers must retain records of compliance for these individuals if their regular work is performed within the city.
The North Star state has recently announced that their upcoming program, Paid Family and Medical Leave will now be henceforth dubbed as Minnesota Paid Leave. Since this program includes Safe leave as well as Military leave, this is a mindful step toward inclusivity during the program’s evolution before its effective date of January 1, 2026. If you’d like to read more details about the program, we’ve given a deep dive here.
New York City
The New York City Council passed a bill that will require employers to provide employees with a “Workers’ Bill of Rights” by July 1, 2024 (and thereafter, on the employee’s date of hire). The purpose of the bill is to notify employees of their rights under various civil rights and other employment laws (federal, state, and local). Our assumption is that the bill will include leave laws, the state’s disability benefits law and Paid Family Leave law.
The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection along with other entities and groups are working together to create a final draft of the document to be available by March 1, 2024. Employers will be required to post the document at the worksite or make available online or on its mobile application if that is how they regularly communicate with employees.
Back at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Brotherly Love passed a COVID-19 sick leave law which required employers with 25 or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of additional paid sick leave to eligible employees who were unable to work due reasons related to COVID-19. The law is expiring December 31, 2023 and employers are required to provide the additional sick leave through that date. Be sure to keep any records pertaining to the law as employers are required to keep all compliance records for two years (through December 31, 2025).
The Department of Labor and Training has released the update to the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) contribution rate and taxable wage ceiling for 2024. The employee contribution rate is increasing from 1.1% to 1.2% and the taxable wage ceiling is increasing from $84,000 to $87,000. The maximum contribution will be $1,044. Here is a helpful quick reference document you may find useful.