What is Paid Family Leave? Navigating Available Employee Paid Leave Options For Your Sacramento Business
With all the talk in the media around Paid Family Leave, it can be confusing and concerning…
Let’s clear something up:
Paid Family Leave is not a leave of absence; it is a financial benefit paid by the state of California to qualified individuals taking time away from work to bond with a newborn, adoptive or foster child or to care for a qualified seriously ill family member.
This financial benefit is intended to run concurrently with a leave of absence provided by an employer, such as:
- California Family Rights
- Family Medical Leave
- Personal Leave
- or any other employee qualified and employer provided leave for which Paid Family Leave benefits may be applicable.
Paid Family leave alone does not provide job protection. What you likely have been seeing in the media is that the Governor signed AB 908 on April 11, 2016 to increase the benefit amount of Paid Family Leave.
What % of Wages Are Employees Granted with Paid Family Leave?
Currently, qualified individuals receive about 55% of wages when approved for Paid Family Leave. Under AB 908, effective January 1, 2018, that amount will increase to 60% or 70% based upon the individuals’ wages with those making higher wages receiving the lesser percent of Paid Family Leave. Paid Family Leave is funded by taxes, there is no direct financial impact to employers, at this time. Also in April, San Francisco became the first city in the Country to require fully paid leave for new parents.
How Sacramento Employees Can Qualify For Paid Family Leave
This regulation requires that new mothers and fathers which work at least 8 hours in a week and spend at least 40% of their work week within San Francisco boundaries must receive 100% of their income for up to 6 weeks when using Paid Family Leave. How they receive the 100% of income is a combination of benefits from California Paid Family Leave and the employer making up the difference.
This regulation is a phase in with the largest employers, 50 or more employees, effective January 2017, 30-49 employees effective July, 2017 and 20-34 employees effective January, 2018. Leaves of absence can lead to a quandary as they may run concurrent in some cases, not in others and every employee situation must be individually evaluated to ensure applicability and compliance.
Critical Upcoming Dates To Note:
- Applicable Large Employers (ALE’s); 50 or more full-time employees OR any size employer with self-insured insurance programs must file forms 1094-b or 1094-c with forms 1095-b or 1095-c with the IRS.
- Due dates for 2016 are May 31st for paper filers and June 30th for electronic filers (250 or more information returns require electronic filing).
- If you have not provided your employees with the applicable 1095-b or 1095-c forms, do so immediately, there are heavy penalties and these were due March 31, 2016.