Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Executive Order Establishes Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contract Workers

New Provisions Generally Applicable to New Contracts in 2017

Under a new Executive Order applicable to covered contracts where the solicitation for such contract has been issued (or the contract has been awarded outside the solicitation process) on or after January 1, 2017, workers on such contracts will earn a minimum of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Accrual of Leave

  • Executive departments and agencies generally must ensure that new contracts, contract-like instruments, and solicitations (collectively referred to as “contracts”) include a clause—which the contractor and any subcontractors must incorporate into lower-tier subcontracts—specifying, as a condition of payment, that all employees must earn at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
  • A contractor may not set a limit on the total accrual of paid sick leave per year (or at any point in time) at less than 56 hours.
  • Accrued paid sick leave must carry over from 1 year to the nextand must be reinstated for employees rehired by a covered contractor within 12 months after a job separation.
  • The Executive Order does not require a covered contractor to make a financial payment to an employee upon a separation from employment for accrued sick leave that has not been used (but unused leave is subject to reinstatement as described above).

Use of Leave

  • Paid sick leave may be used for an absence resulting from physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition; obtaining diagnosis, care, or preventive care from a health care provider; caring for certain relatives; or for certain instances related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Employee Notice

  • Paid sick leave must be provided upon an employee’s oral or written request that includes the expected duration of the leave, and is made at least 7 calendar days in advance where the need for the leave is foreseeable (and in other cases as soon as is practicable).

Note: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to issue regulations that, among other things, may provide definitions, recordkeeping requirements, and further guidance on the specific types of contracts and contract-like instruments subject to the Executive Order.

Additional information and requirements are available in the text of theExecutive Order.

Our Compliance Assistance for Federal Contractors page features helpful resources for federal contractors and subcontractors.

Originally posted by WWW.HR360.COM

Military Leave in North Carolina (NC)

Any member of the North Carolina National Guard who enters state duty is entitled—upon honorable release from state duty—to certain reemployment rights provided for by law, which include (among other things) the following:

  • An individual who is a member of the North Carolina National Guard who performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in the North Carolina National Guard must not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.
  • Upon release from state duty, the employee must make written application to his or her previous employer for reemployment within 5 days of release from duty or from hospitalization continuing after release.
    • If the employee is still qualified for his or her previous employment, the employee must be restored to his or her previous position or to a position of like seniority, status, and salary—unless the employer’s circumstances now make the restoration unreasonable.
    • If the employee is no longer qualified for his or her previous employment, he or she must be placed in another position for which he or she is qualified, and which will give the employee appropriate seniority, status, and salary—unless the employer’s circumstances now make the placement unreasonable.
  • The law does not require an employer to pay salary or wages to a member of the North Carolina National Guard during the member’s period of active service.

Special Update: Under a new law effective October 1, 2015, the above provisions also apply to any member of the National Guard of another state. The new law applies to denials of initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on or after such date. Click here to read the text of the law.

For More Information

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. State laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state laws, please contact your state labor department.

Originally posted by www.HR360.com

Oregon governor signs paid sick leave, retirement legislation

PORTLAND (Reuters) – Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation on Monday

Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaks at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon, February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaks at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon, February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

mandating paid sick leave for nearly all workers and establishing a first-of-its kind state-run retirement program for private sector employees.

Brown said the four bills, dubbed the “Fair Shot” agenda, will help working, low-income families by ensuring a living wage, retirement security and protection against racial profiling by police.

“Our work is not done. There are still people with full-time jobs who are unable to make ends meet,” Brown said in a statement. “We must carry on the fight to ensure all Oregonians have the opportunity to earn a living wage.”

The measures, passed by the state’s majority-Democrat legislature, were backed by a coalition of unions, social service groups, health care non-profits and minority-advocacy groups.

With the passage of the bills, Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically enroll residents in a defined-contribution plan if they are hired by an employer that does not already offer retirement benefits, according to the task force that designed the measure.

Workers will have the right to opt out of the plan.

The package of bills also made Oregon the fourth state to require all businesses, with limited exceptions, to provide paid sick leave to their workers, after Connecticut, California and Massachusetts.

The law applies to all private-sector employers, regardless of their primary place of business, and allows workers to accrue up to 40 hours of sick leave annually.

Republicans decried the new bills, saying the measures will hurt small business owners and do nothing to create jobs.

In a statement, Republicans said the new sick-leave mandate will cost businesses $914 million, while the new retirement program for private-sector workers created an “expensive government mandate on Oregonians while doing nothing to increase incomes across the state”.

The two other “Fair Shot” laws signed by Brown on Monday prohibit employers from asking job candidates about criminal records before the interview stage and outlaws racial, ethnic and religious profiling by police.

By Courtney Sherwood
(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Miral Fahmy)

New California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Takes Effect July 1, 2015

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council recently published new California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations that will take effect July 1, 2015. The new revisions are intended to clarify confusing rules and closely align the regulations with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations, although differences still remain between CFRA and FMLA.Medical-Leave

As a reminder, CFRA applies to employers who do business in California and employ 50 or more part-time or full-time employees (within a 75 mile radius). It provides eligible employees leave rights for the following:

(1) birth of a child for purposes of bonding,

(2) placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care,

(3) for the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent or spouse, and

(4) for the employee’s own serious health condition.

The regulations include wide-ranging substantive changes. For example, the regulations now explain in detail how an employer can violate CFRA by interfering with an employee’s CFRA rights, and clarify that all employees, not merely employees eligible for CFRA, are protected from retaliation for opposing any practice unlawful under CFRA. Some other key provisions of the new regulations include:

  • Covered Employers: The regulations expand the definition of covered employer to include “successors in interest” of a covered employer and joint employers.
  • Definitions: The regulations revise the definitions of serious health condition, inpatient care, eligible employee, and spouse, among others.
  • Key Employee: The regulations revise the provisions regarding the refusal to reinstate a “key employee.”
  • Health Care Coverage: The regulations expand and clarify when and how an employer must maintain group health plan coverage for employees on CFRA leave.
  • Use of Paid Leave: The regulations clarify that an employee receiving any form of disability payments or Paid Family Leave insurance while on CFRA leave is not on an “unpaid leave” and thus cannot be required to use PTO, accrued vacation, or sick leave.
  • Fitness for Duty/Return to Work: The regulations discuss whether, when, and under what circumstance an employer may ask an employee to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination before returning to work.
  • Disability Leave: The regulations now explicitly state that if an employee has a serious health condition that also qualifies as a disability under California law and cannot return to work at the conclusion of their CFRA leave, the employer has an obligation to engage in the interactive process to determine whether an extension of the leave would qualify as a reasonable accommodation under FEHA.
  • Calculation of Leave and Intermittent Leave: The regulations expand and clarify how to calculate CFRA leave and the use of intermittent leave.
  • Posting and Notice Requirements: Employers must now respond to requests to take CFRA leave within five business days (up from 10 calendar days previously required). Employers must also post notices explaining CFRA in conspicuous places where they can be seen by employees and applicants for employment.

For the convenience of our customers, All in One Poster Company as of today has included the official CFRA notice published by the state late last Friday in its all-in-one state and federal labor law poster. This replaces the previous “Notice B” that applies to employers with 50 or more employees.

You can find more information regarding the new regulations on the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s website, located here.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PAID SICK LEAVE