Paid Household Go away, Now and What’s Coming Subsequent – All the pieces You Must Know

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When Volvo recently introduced paid family and sick leave for its employees in the US, in a program that mimics federal programs in Sweden, the company followed a trend that has gripped the US in recent years. Now President Joe Biden has introduced provisions for paid family and medical leave in his American family plan. And Massachusetts MP Richard Neal made a similar, possibly broader, proposal in the Family Economy Act.

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While Americans await federal programs, many states have put their own programs in place that mandate paid family vacation insurance that is paid by, or shared between, employers or employees.

“In 2017, New York became the first state since California to introduce a paid family vacation program,” said Michael Cohen, president of the DBL Center, a general insurance wholesale agency that specializes in statutory benefits such as short-term disability insurance and paid family medicine. “New York’s PFL was the toughest in the country at the time. Now states across New England have followed suit, with the expectation that certain western states would also introduce programs to help new parents and workers caring for sick or disabled family members. “

Neal’s House Ways and Means Committee proposal showed that states with existing (legacy) PFML programs could continue to offer benefits in their state as long as they meet federal program requirements, Cohen said. There would be a public program run by the US Treasury Department. “There may also be a provision for employer-provided or private insurance options through insurance carriers,” Cohen said, pointing out that such private plans could offer better customer service and faster payouts, as has been the case in states that already have an option offer for private or government-provided options for disability coverage and family vacations.

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As of 2021, nine states and the District of Columbia will require organizations of a certain size to offer some workers paid family and sick leave, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. In states where PFL or PFML coverage is required, it is typically offered to all full-time workers and some part-time workers who work a minimum number of hours per week.

But what exactly is paid family vacation? How does it differ from the Federal Law on Family and Sick Leave (FMLA)? And who pays for it?

Knowing what to get in terms of income replacement when you have a baby, adopt or promote children, or need to take time off to care for a loved one, will help you budget those eventualities better.

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PFL / PFML vs. FMLA: Understand the Difference

Contrary to what many believe, Paid Family Vacation (PFL) and Paid Family Vacation and Medical Leave (PFML) programs are not the same thing as federal medical family leave law. The FMLA offers eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for:

  • A newborn child in the first year of birth
  • A newly adopted or new foster child within the first year
  • A spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
  • Household duties while an active military spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty

It also protects an employee’s job if the employee is in a serious state of health, the Department of Labor notes.

However, the FMLA, which was passed in 1993 under then-President Bill Clinton, is not a paid benefit. It just ensures that the person returns to work in the same or the same job. Employees must rely on short-term disability insurance, savings, or other means to replace their income during their vacation.

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PFL and PFML, on the other hand, offer paid vacation at the same time as FMLA, which only provides job protection. The duration of coverage and the reasons for submitting a PFL application are similar to the reasons that individuals can obtain health and safety under the FMLA. Both programs work together to ensure both income and occupational health and safety. However, PFL and PFML are not federal programs and are therefore not available nationwide.

“Most people don’t know this, but 37 states threw their hats into the ring in the last election to pass state-level laws on paid family leave,” Cohen said in a press release on the expansion of these programs.

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PFL, PFML, FMLA, and Workers Compensation: Which Should You Submit?

PFL refers to vacation leave that employees can take to care for family members. PFML, on the other hand, also covers employees when they are sick or injured.

“It’s important to note that Workers’ Compensation, a federal mandate, covers workers if they are injured in the workplace or become sick due to conditions in their workplace,” says Cohen. For any other illness that occurs outside of the workplace, the worker would apply for PFML or short term disability insurance in the states where they are available.

“New York and New Jersey offer PFL coverage separate from sick leave insurance because the states also offer state-mandated short-term disability insurance programs (DBL in New York and TDB in New Jersey) that cover employee illness or injury. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, short-term disability and family vacation insurance are combined in a program called PFML, ”said Cohen.

Should the federal government introduce a paid family and sick leave program, it would cover workers in states that do not yet require PFL or short-term disability insurance.

Likewise, employees who apply for either state-mandated benefits or, when they become available, apply for federal PFML are protected by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal program that provides only occupational safety and no pay.

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Which states offer family paid vacation or family paid vacation?

In 2021, California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico all offer statutory disability plans or paid family vacation. Massachusetts introduced a program in 2021. Connecticut will offer both paid family and medical vacations in one benefit package starting in 2022. Employers have already started deducting bonus payments for the programs.

The states differ in the length of vacation, the amounts paid out and even in the definition of “family members”. For example, the Massachusetts PFML policy allows permission to care for anyone the worker considers “like family”.

All employers must publish information about the programs in a place that is visible to employees. “If you have specific questions about the benefits available in your state, it’s best to contact your human resources department or your benefits advisor,” advises Cohen. “When and when a federal program is introduced, the benefits will not be paid out until 2023. Even then, it is likely that employees will contact their HR department or their performance advisor for advice in the event of damage.”

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About the author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist specializing in finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Their long list of Publication Loans includes Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes two cats, a feral kitten, and three lizards of different sizes and personalities – plus her two children and her husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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