The House of Representatives is considering the Family Leave Insurance Act of 2008 (FLIA) as Bill H.R.5873. If the Act becomes federal law, it will require certain employers to provide paid family and medical leave benefits to eligible employees.
Some sources have indicated that it’s a done deal; but, the U.S. Congress might wait to finalize and pass the FLIA (or a similar act) until after the new administration takes office in 2009.
Update: On March 25, 2009, the House of Representatives reintroduced the FLIA as the Family Leave Insurance Act of 2009 (H.R. 1723). The information below still generally applies to the 2009 version for now.
If and when passed, the FLIA will establish a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program at the federal and state levels. It will also require employers who are bound by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to join the Program or establish voluntary plans.
Among other requirements, voluntary plans must provide equal or greater employee rights than the Program, and receive the approval of the Secretary of Labor. Smaller employers and self-employed individuals may opt into the Program.
Employee eligibility requirements and benefits under the Family Leave Insurance Act are the same as those under the FMLA, except that employees will be paid for up to 12 weeks while on FMLA leave. Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave to care for themselves or family members, or up to 26 weeks to care for family members who were seriously injured during active military duty.
As it stands now, pay for each day of an eligible employee’s FMLA leave will be based on the employee’s annual income and calculated as a percentage (%) of his or her daily earnings (DE) as follows.
|Annual Income||Family or Medical Leave Pay|
|Less than $20,000||100% of DE|
|$20,001 to $30,000||Greater of 75% of DE or 100% of DE based on $20,000|
|$30,001 to $60,000||Greater of 55% of DE or 75% of DE based on $30,000|
|$60,001 to $97,000||Greater of 40% of DE or 55% of DE based on $60,000|
|More than $97,000||40% of DE based on $97,000|
Employers and employees will share the cost of funding the Program by paying relatively small taxes and premiums based on employee earnings. The insurance under the Program will reimburse employers for paying employees while they are on leave. Employees may use other employer-provided paid sick leave benefits to supplement those provided under the Program.
Because the Family Leave Insurance Act is still under congressional consideration and the regulations have yet to be written, the information in this blog post is subject to change.