An Act To Create Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA c. 7, sub-c. 6-C is enacted to read:
PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
§ 850-A. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
(1) Undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy or otherwise receiving outpatient treatment; or
(2) Otherwise on the United States Armed Forces' temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of duty in the United States Armed Forces or a serious injury or illness that existed before the beginning of the member's active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the United States Armed Forces; or
§ 850-B. Family and medical leave benefits program established
The family and medical leave benefits program is established effective October 1, 2020. The program is administered by the department.
This subsection does not prevent a covered individual from taking medical leave during pregnancy or recovery from childbirth if supported by documentation from a health care provider that is immediately followed by family leave, in which case the 5-day waiting period for family leave under section 850-C, subsection 1 is not required.
§ 850-C. Payment of benefits
§ 850-D. Filing for benefits
§ 850-E. Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund
§ 850-F. Notice
The employee shall provide written acknowledgment of receipt of information or sign a statement indicating the employee's refusal to sign the acknowledgement.
§ 850-G. Prohibited practices
§ 850-H. Appeals
§ 850-I. Disqualification of covered individual
§ 850-J. Tax treatment
§ 850-K. Data collection and technology
The department shall use state data collection procedures and technology to the extent possible to integrate the program with existing state policies.
§ 850-L. Implementation
Contributions begin January 1, 2021 to provide funds for the fund. The department shall begin processing claims beginning January 1, 2022.
The department shall establish reasonable procedures and forms for filing claims for benefits under this subchapter and shall specify what supporting documentation is necessary to support a claim for benefits, including documentation required from a health care provider for proof of a serious health condition.
§ 850-M. Rulemaking
The department may adopt rules as necessary to implement this subchapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this subchapter are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
§ 850-N. Effect of existing employer benefits for family and medical leave
This subchapter may not be construed to prohibit an employee entitled to receive benefits for family or medical leave under a collective bargaining agreement or employer policy from also receiving benefits under this subchapter as long as the employee is otherwise eligible for benefits under this subchapter.
This bill establishes a paid family and medical leave benefits program administered by the Department of Labor. The program provides up to 12 weeks of family leave and up to 20 weeks of medical leave to eligible covered individuals. No more than 20 weeks of family leave and medical leave in the aggregate may be taken in a 12-month period. An individual is eligible for leave under the program after working 26 weeks or more for any employer in the 12 months prior to submitting an application or if the individual is self-employed and has elected to be part of the program.
The maximum weekly benefit amount is capped at 100% of the state average weekly wage. The weekly benefit amount is 90% of the portion of the covered individual's average weekly wage that is equal to or less than 50% of the state average weekly wage and 67% of the portion of the covered individual's average weekly wage that is more than 50% of the state average weekly wage.
Covered individuals are required to file claims for benefits in accordance with rules adopted by the department and to provide certification that they qualify for family leave or medical leave.
This bill establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund to support the program. The funds for administrative costs and payment of benefits will come from payroll contributions by employees.
The bill requires payroll contributions to begin January 1, 2021, and benefits will be paid out beginning January 1, 2022.