May 13, 2024

Federal, State, and Local Updates

Federal Update

Internal Revenue Service

Employers offering Work-life Referral benefits can exclude them from both gross income and employment taxes as a de minimis fringe benefit, according to a new IRS Fact Sheet. Larkin’s Family Care Concierge, available to employees facing childcare or eldercare challenges, allows employers to support their workforce without incurring additional tax liabilities. The IRS defines Work-life Referral services as “informational and referral consultations that assist employees with identifying, contacting, and negotiating with life-management resources for solutions to a personal, work, or family challenge.”

For more information on adding the Larkin Family Care Concierge, contact your client success manager.

State and Local Updates

California

Employment Development Department (EDD)

The EDD will be sending a reminder to Voluntary Plan employers in the coming weeks regarding the Administrative Contact Forms that are required to be submitted on an annual basis (and when there is a change to the administrative contact information). If Larkin administers your voluntary plan, we will prepare the DE 2520BV-A and DE 2520BV-C (we will complete DE 2520BV-B with our contact information) and send them to you for review and signature. We will be sending the forms your way in mid-May (the submission deadline is Monday, June 17, 2024). We will then submit all three documents to the EDD on your behalf.

Colorado

Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)

The CDLE has launched a new HR Benefits Dashboard in My FAMLI+Employer. HR contacts can review benefit start dates and claim statuses, add/manage users, add contacts, and more. For more information, please see the User Guide and/or watch a how-to video.

The CDLE’s next webinar on May 23, 2024 at 10am PT will consist of a live demonstration of the portal. You can register here, but If you are unable to make it, a recording of the webinar will be published on their events page.

Connecticut

Governor Lamont is expected to sign HB 5005 which makes significant changes to the state’s paid sick leave law, effective January 1, 2025. Currently, paid sick leave is only required of employers who employ at least 50 or more individuals. Starting January 1, 2025, the threshold will decrease to 25 or more individuals, 11 or more individuals as of January 1, 2026, and as of January 1, 2027 paid sick leave will be required of all employers who employ one or more individuals. Also of note, the law will apply to all employees (except for seasonal employees and certain unionized employees) – currently, the law applies to “service worker” employees which is defined extensively.

Another significant change is to the accrual rate which is currently one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. As of January 1, 2025, employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers will be allowed to provide a bank of paid sick leave hours (that meets or exceeds the requirements of the law) at the beginning of the year as opposed to allowing employees to carry-over unused paid sick leave.

Employees will be able to use paid sick leave after 120 calendar days of employment and may use paid sick leave to also care for family members (spouses, siblings, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents, and an individual related to the employee by blood or affinity).

The Connecticut Department of Labor will be creating updated posters and notices which we will share once they are available. Individual notice to employees will be required at the time of hire or on January 1, 2025, whichever is later. Additionally, employers will be required to add paid sick leave hours to employee pay stubs as well as retain records for three years.

Illinois

Department of Labor (IDOL)

The final regulations for the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act, which took effect on January 1, 2024, have been released and are effective as of April 30, 2024. If you updated your policy based on the proposed regulations that were released in November 2023, you’ll want to review your policy again based on the final regulations and its changes. The IDOL has published FAQs that may be helpful.

Below, you’ll see an update for Chicago and you may ask how the state law interacts with Chicago’s Paid Leave and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. Since Chicago (and Cook County) passed their respective ordinances prior to January 1, 2024, the state law does not apply to employees in Chicago or Cook County.

Chicago

Towards the end of 2023, the Windy City passed the Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (previously reported here and here). Final rules for the ordinance have been published and will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Also available for your review are FAQs, an Informational Flyer, and an ordinance overview webinar recording. As a reminder, employers will be required to provide notice, by paper or by electronic dissemination, to employees with their first paycheck (within 30 days of July 1, 2024) as well as to new hires as part of the onboarding process. Notice must also be posted in a conspicuous place at each worksite within the geographic boundaries of Chicago. Further, employers may choose a reasonable system for giving notice to employees of the availability and use of Paid Leave and Paid Sick Leave, including, but not limited to listing updated amounts of leave available on pay stubs, developing an online system where employees can access the information, or by providing a hand-written record of available time. Employers are required to maintain records for five years or the duration of a claim, civil action, or investigation, whichever is longer. There is only a proposed notice at this time. We will let you know when the final notice is available.

Maine

The Pine Tree State has recently passed a bill that will amend its upcoming Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. The changes allow for an employee to utilize intermittent leave in increments of one day, or in smaller increments of as little as an hour with employer agreement. Additionally, the program will now go live as of January 1, 2026 as opposed to the original date of May 1, 2026. The date that employee contributions will begin remains January 1, 2025. Most other details remain the same – if you’d like to refresh your memory on this state’s upcoming PFML law, we’ve provided the full details in this newsletter.

Minnesota

The North Star State’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program is still on track to begin on January 1, 2026. The Division of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has confirmed that the first wage detail reports will be due on October 31, 2024, based on the wages paid between July 1, 2024, and September 30, 2024. Subsequent reports would be due quarterly. Additionally, employers will soon be able to register for a Paid Leave Only account through the state’s Unemployment Insurance program online system. Instructions will be available this summer once the Paid Leave Only accounts are available. If your organization is already covered under the Unemployment Insurance program, you do not need to register separately for a Paid Leave Only account as these accounts will be converted automatically into a joint account. Lastly, there is a website available on wage detail reporting, which will soon also have resources on file uploads, adjustments, and submissions.

New Jersey

Division on Civil Rights (DCR)

The DCR recently released updated guidance regarding the New Jersey Family Leave Act which can be found here or in PDF form, if preferred.

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