2019 has brought a flurry of new leave and accommodation laws. In fact, in the first 8 months of 2019, more than 20 new laws in this area have passed.
The states (and US territory) that passed new laws, expanded or otherwise amended existing leave and accommodation laws, or had new laws go into effect this year include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Utah and Washington.
A few notable trends are emerging.
Maine (effective January 1, 2021), Nevada (effective January 1, 2020) and Bernalillo County, New Mexico (effective July 1, 2020) became the first jurisdictions to mandate that employers provide employees with paid leave that can used for any reason. These laws are a significant departure from the paid sick leave laws that have been adopted in many states and cities across the country that limit the leave to specific reasons. We expect this broader trend to continue as other jurisdictions are considering similar proposals.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Efforts to adopt and expand paid family and medical leave across the country continue, as new laws were passed, including in Connecticut and Oregon; benefits were extended in California; Colorado established a task force to implement a family and medical leave insurance program; and the District of Columbia began collecting taxes from private sector employers to fund its paid family leave program.
Other Types of Leave
The number of jurisdictions with laws requiring accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding employees continues to grow. We also saw a number of jurisdictions pass laws providing protected leave to employees serving in the state National Guard, civil air patrol and serving as emergency responders. A growing number of jurisdictions are also requiring leave for employees who are the victims of violence or who serve as organ donors.
Keeping up with the dynamic legal landscape can be a daunting task. Jackson Lewis is here to help. For guidance on leave management issues, please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney. Register here if you would like to receive information about our workthruIT® Leave & Accommodation Suite. The Leave & Accommodation Suite provides subscribers an expanding array of tools to manage leave and accommodation issues, including electronic access to a state and local leave law database that is developed and updated continually by our Disability, Leave & Health Management attorneys.