Delaware Becomes Latest State to Pass Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Delaware Gov. John Carney has signed the Healthy Delaware Families Act into law, creating a statewide family and medical leave insurance program. Under the new program, which goes into effect in January 2025, workers can access up to 12 weeks of paid parental or medical caregiving leave per year. Workers can take advantage of these benefits beginning in 2026. 

Delaware is joining an increasing number of states that have enacted laws requiring employers to provide their workers with paid time off to care for themselves or family members. More and more state legislatures are introducing these laws and other laws that address sick time or paid time off in general. Although the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides job security for employees for up to 12 weeks per year, that leave is unpaid. 

State family and medical leave laws also cover more than just immediate family members. Traditionally, these laws allowed employees to take time off to care for themselves, their spouses, children, or parents. Now, some of these laws permit time off to care for other relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, or siblings. Part of this push may be in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many workers dealing with multiple ill family members, some needing extended periods of caregiving. 

Large national employers operating in multiple states must be aware of these laws and the different mandates for providing paid leave to their employees. A “one size fits all” approach for employee benefits may no longer be feasible, as requirements differ markedly from one state to the next, in the absence of federal legislation that mandates paid time off. As more states continue to enact this type of legislation, employers must be aware of their responsibilities under these laws and act accordingly. 

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.
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