Last week I reported on the bills that were underway. As of Wednesday, February 1st, the following additional HR related bills were added, including the awaited Paid Family and Medical Leave Act:
HB 64 Return to Work for Public Safety Employees
HB 106 Increase Public Employee Pension Max
HB 207 Expand Human Rights Act Scope
HB 215 Study Unemployment Benefits for Ineligible
HB 245 Employee Free Speech Act
HJM 1 State Employee Classification Study
SB 11 Paid Family & Medical Leave Act
SB 20 Educational Retirement Board Changes
SB 204 Employee Leasing Benefit Programs
SM 16 Study Defined Contribution Pensions
Some things to note, the expanded Human Rights Act Scope (HB207) creates additional language which defines sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity, and makes updates to other terms, including public employer and public contractor coverage.
The Study Unemployment Benefits for Ineligible (HB215) will study the effect of adding unemployment coverage for currently ineligible workers due to immigration status and for self-employed independent contractors.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (SB11) bill is paid leave for the purposes of medical issues, birth/adoption (bonding period), domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or abuse, and other reasons. The coverage applies to the employee and includes family relationships and blood relations, but also includes the spouses/domestic partners of the employee and family members of the spouses/domestic partners. The bill’s coverage also includes any other individual related by “affinity” whose close association with the employee or their spouse or domestic partner is the equivalent of a family relationship. The program applies to both private and public employees but will not apply to Federal employees and those covered under certain provisions of the federal Labor Railway Act. The Act provides for up to 12 weeks of coverage in a year and provides for intermittent use. The program will be managed by the Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS)and will be funded from contributions made by employees and employers based on wages. The payments into the program are proposed to begin January 1, 2025, with use of the leave to begin January 1, 2026. Initial deductions are planned 1/2% of earnings for the employee and 4/10% for employers. If an employer has an existing plan and wants to be excluded, they will have to apply for a waiver. We’ll be tracking this one closely and reporting out on any changes.
If you need help staying in compliance with HR related regulations, consider contacting Southwestern HR Consulting today!
Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP
Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org