Newsletter

Paid Family Medical Leave Payments Start in 2019


Beginning January 1, 2020, qualified employees will be eligible to be paid a portion of their wages if they miss work for the birth of a child, the adoption of a younger child, or to care for themselves or a family member stricken with a serious illness or injury, or for certain military connected events.

There currently is a federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that provides leave benefits but the federal program does not apply to employers with fewer than 50 employees, and the leave, if available, is unpaid. With the state law, even though the leave benefits do not begin until 2020, employers will be required to pay premiums to the state beginning January 1, 2019. The employer’s share of the premiums should be considered as a salary expense for the coming year’s budget.

The paid leave premium is split between employers and employees: the employer share is approximately 37% of the 0.4% total (.004), with the remaining 63% paid by employees. Employers may—but are not required to—pay the full 0.4 percent. Let’s say an employee earns $3,000 per month. The total premium would be $12.00 ($3,000 x .004), including $4.44 paid by the employer ($12.00 x .37) and $7.56 ($12.00 x .63) withheld from the employee’s paycheck to be paid to the state.

Here is how the paid family leave premium would look for employers with more than 50 employees.

Paid Family & Medical Leave Premiums – 50 Employees or More

Employee’s Monthly Wag: $3,000

0.4% of Wages: $12.00

Withheld from Employee’s Paycheck (63%) - $7.56

Paid by Employer (37%): $4.44


Using salary data from the first chart, here is how the paid family leave premium would look for employers with less than 50 employees.

Paid Family & Medical Leave Premiums – Less that 50 Employees

Employee’s Monthly Wag: $3,000

0.4% of Wages: $12.00

Withheld from Employee’s Paycheck (63%) - $7.56

Paid by Employer (37%): Exempt


Additional Resources

Additional information regarding the family and medical leave program is available on the ESD’s website, including a short, free webinar highlighting some of the basics of the new program.