A State-by-State Guide to Paid Family Leave
Paid Family Leave (PFL) is a key wage replacement program in some states that I’ll be covering in depth today. PFL runs similarly to State Disability Insurance (SDI), a government-run program that provides partial income replacement for eligible employees who cannot work because of an illness or injury. Below, I’ll share which states offer PFL, explain how each program is structured and provide insight into how these programs may impact your payroll and production budget.
Paid Family Leave basics
Much like SDI, Paid Family Leave provides wage replacement to employees who need to take time off work to:
- Bond with a new child after birth, adoption or foster care placement
- Care for an ill family member, including a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or parent-in-law
- Recover from a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to work
PFL benefits vary by state. The program generally provides wage replacement benefits ranging from 50% to 100% of an employee's average weekly wage, up to a maximum weekly benefit amount. The duration of benefits also varies, typically from four to 12 weeks. The impact of PFL on employers also varies state-to-state. Some require employer contributions to a PFL fund, while others fund the program via employee payroll deductions.
Which states have Paid Family Leave?
Thirteen states currently have PFL programs in place, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State and Washington D.C. Three of those states—California, New Jersey and New York—also offer SDI and use PFL as a program that offers an extension of benefits.
Here's a brief overview of the PFL programs in each state:
California (CA PFL overview)
Paid Family Leave (PFL) is managed by the Employment Development Department (EDD).
- Employers are required to provide PFL benefits to employees who paid into the state’s SDI program. The program pays 60% to 70% of the claimant’s weekly wages earned 5 to 18 months before the claim start date. The 2023 maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,357.
- Eligible claimants can receive PFL for up to eight weeks.
- Benefits are funded by employee payroll deductions (0.9% in 2023), applied to a taxable wage limit of $153,164 for each employee per calendar year. Employers should withhold a maximum of $1,378.48 per employee. Funds collected go toward California’s SDI and PFL programs, and withholdings are reflected on paystubs as CASDI.
California PFL has no impact on a production budget.
Colorado (CO FAMLI overview)
Colorado just rolled out the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI), which is managed by the Department of Labor and Employment.
- The program pays between 37% and 90% of wages, determined on a sliding scale based on weekly income. The lowest-wage earners get the highest benefit percentage (90%); weekly payments are capped at $1,100.
- Employees can collect benefits for up to 12 weeks. An individual who just birthed a child may receive up to four additional weeks of benefits. This program also offers job protection for employees who have been with the company for at least 180 days.
- Colorado started collecting premiums split by employees and employers to fund this program in January 2023. In total, 0.9% of employee wages are deducted, with 0.45% covered by the employer and 0.45% covered by the employee (up to the wage base of $160,200). Employers may also cover the full deduction. Eligible employees can start receiving benefits on January 1, 2024. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as CO RS PDLV.
Colorado PFL will impact production budgets up to $720.90 per Colorado resident (if they earn the full wage base of $160,200).
Connecticut (CT PFMLA and PL overview)
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) is administered by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, a division of the Department of Labor.
- The act is made up of two separate laws: the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave (CTFMLA) and the Connecticut Paid Leave (CTPL). Together, these laws provide paid leave and job protection to eligible employees.
- Employees who 1) earned at least $2,325 in wages from a covered employer in the highest quarter of the first four of the five most recently completed quarters 2) who are either currently employed by a covered employer or have been employed by a covered employer within the last 12 weeks are eligible for CTPL benefits.
- The program is funded by employee payroll deductions (0.5% up to the wage base $160, 200), and there’s no employer match. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as CT RS PDLV.
Connecticut PFL has no impact on a production budget.
Delaware (DE PFL overview)
Governor Carney signed a bill into law that will provide eligible workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave that is set to go into effect on January 1, 2025. Although there are no implications for employers and employees yet, the ball is in motion, so this is one to keep an eye on.
District of Colombia (D.C. PFL overview)
D.C. began collecting taxes from local employers to fund the Paid Family Leave benefit on July 1, 2019, and the program began issuing benefits to workers exactly one year later. The Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL) administers this program.
- Eligible employees receive up to 12 weeks of benefits of an amount not to exceed $1,049 per week, calculated based on weekly wages.
- Benefits are funded wholly by employers via a quarterly payroll tax payment at a rate based on the immediate past quarter of gross or total wages paid. Though the rate is variable, it may not exceed 0.26%. You can calculate your tax rate here.
Anticipate DC PFL to impact production budgets by -0.26% of wages paid to DC residents.
Hawaii (HI FMLA overview)
Hawaii has a state plan and allows an employer to establish a private plan for Paid Family Leave (PFL), and EP has a private plan available.
- Eligible employees can earn up to 58% of your average weekly wages, but not more than the maximum weekly benefit amount annually ($765 in 2023) set by the Disability Compensation Division.
- Benefits begin from the eighth day of disability; in other words, there is a seven-consecutive-day waiting period. A maximum of 26 weeks of benefit payments during a benefit year.
- Benefits are funded by employee payroll deductions ($0.04 a week in 2023), with an Employer match of $0.17 plus the additional cost of half the actual cost of benefits paid. Withholdings are reflected as HI RS PDLV on paystubs.
Anticipate HI FMLA to impact production budgets by -$0.17 per HI resident per week.
Massachusetts (MA PFML overview)
Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML).
- To be eligible, employees must have earned at least $5,700 (2022) or $6,000 (2023) over the past four calendar quarters and must have earned at least thirty times the benefit amount they’re eligible for. The 2023 maximum benefit amount is $1,129.82.
- Claimants can receive benefits for up to 12 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child, up to 20 weeks to manage their own health condition and up to 26 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Benefits are funded by employee tax deductions. The withholding amount is 0.63% of covered employees' eligible wages up to the wage base of $160,200 in 2023—down from 0.68% in 2022. Withholdings are reflected as MA RS PDLV on paystubs.
Massachusetts PFML has no impact on a production budget.
Maryland (MD FMLA overview)
As one of the most recent states to enact PFL legislation, Maryland passed a bill that created the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program in 2022.
- Eligible employees can earn up to 90% of wages (up to a cap, higher percentages for lowest earners) for up to 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period. In certain situations, claimants may receive up to 24 weeks of benefits.
- Benefits will be funded by both employees and employers.
- As a brand new bill, details are still forming. Implementation regulations issued by the Maryland Department of Labor pushed implementation back to October 1, 2024.
- Employer and employee contributions to the fund are set to begin on October 1, 2024, and benefits will be issued starting January 1, 2025. Stay tuned for more developments!
New Jersey (NJ FL overview)
Family Leave Insurance (FL) is managed by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDLWD).
- Employers are required to provide PFL benefits to employees with at least 20 weeks of tenure who earn a minimum of $200 per week.
- Eligible claimants can receive benefits for up to 12 weeks, and the max benefit amount is $903 per week.
- The program is financed entirely by worker payroll deductions (0.06% on the first $156,800 earned in 2023). Employers do not contribute to the program. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as NJ RS PDLV.
New Jersey FL has no impact on a production budget.
New York (NY PFL overview)
New York State Paid Family Leave (NYS PFL) is administered by the NYS Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB).
- Eligible workers can receive up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid leave. Employees must be New York residents who worked 20 hours or more per week for 25 consecutive weeks. Part-time employees who work less than 20 hours a week for more than 175 days (can be non-consecutive) may also qualify.
- The program pays as much as 67% of the eligible employee’s average weekly wage, with a maximum weekly benefit of $1,131.08.
- Benefits are funded via employee payroll deductions, and the employee contribution rate is evaluated and set each year. In 2023, the rate is 0.455% of gross wages, deducted each pay period, with a $399.43 maximum annual contribution. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as NY RS PDLV.
New York PFL has no impact on a production budget.
Oregon (PLO overview)
Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) is managed by the Oregon Employment Department (OED).
- Employers must provide PFL benefits to employees who have earned at least $1,000 in wages during the base year and worked for their employer for at least 180 days.
- The maximum benefit amount is currently $1,215 per week, and the program supports claimants for up to 12 weeks.
- Benefits are funded by both employer and employee contributions. Employers with 25 or more employees are required to pay 40% of the total contribution rate, while employees pay 60%. In 2023, the rate is set to 1% of gross earnings, up to $132,900 maximum contribution. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as OR RS PDLV.
Paid Leave Oregon will impact production budgets up to $531.60 per Oregon resident (if they earn the full wage base of $132,900).
Rhode Island (RI TCI overview)
The Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI) is Rhode Island’s paid family leave program, managed by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT).
- Employers are required to provide benefits to employees who earned at least $11,000 in the previous four quarters and worked for their employer for at least 12 months.
- The duration of PFL in Rhode Island is up to four weeks.
- Benefits are funded by employee payroll deductions, and the maximum benefit amount is currently $887 per week. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as RI RS PDLV.
Rhode Island TCI has no impact on a production budget.
Washington State (WA PFML overview)
The Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program is managed by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD).
- Employers are required to provide PFL benefits to employees who have earned at least $7,700 in the previous four quarters and have worked for their employer for at least 820 hours in the qualifying period.
- Washington provides up to 12 weeks of benefit payments to eligible employees.
- Benefits are funded by both employer and employee contributions, and the maximum benefit amount is currently $1,357 per week. Withholdings are reflected on paystubs as WA RS PDLV.
Washington PFML will impact production budgets up to $349.11 per Washington resident (if they earn the full wage base of $160, 200).
Accounting for Paid Family Leave costs in your production budget
As paid family leave (PFL) becomes more prevalent across the United States, it is important for productions to account for associated costs in their budget and to ensure compliance with PFL legislation. Here are three reminders to help you do both:
- Take a close look at your employee roster and film schedule:
Familiarize yourself with PFL eligibility criteria in any states where you’ll be filming. Then, examine your cast and crew list to identify anyone who may become eligible to receive benefits over the course of a project.
- Include PFL costs in the production budget:
Once the estimated cost of PFL has been calculated, reflect these costs in the payroll section of your production budget.
- Post appropriate notices and file required reports:
Productions should be familiar with each state's requirements to ensure you’re prepared. Some states require employers to provide employees with specific notices related to PFL programs. Employers are also required to file reports with state agencies in some states. Maintaining accurate payroll records is also critical. If you’re an EP customer, we’ll take care of this for you.
The hardest part about PFL management and compliance is that every state has different program rules and regulations and new programs and rules pop up all the time. It’s important to know what’s happening in each state and familiarize yourself with key government agencies administering these programs. EP is also a great resource for PFL questions. If you ever get stuck on something, contact EP’s tax support team for help.