2022 Changes to Leave Laws

The year 2022 brings a lot of change to the leave law landscape, with four states and the District of Columbia passing new laws that will impact decisions employers make when planning for and approving leave. Though these new leave laws are certainly in the best interest of employees, the many and frequent changes by locality create confusion and high risk for error, as it becomes difficult for employers – even the most well-intentioned – to remain compliant without effective tracking mechanisms. 

California has now expanded the use of CFRA to care for parents-in-law for both public and private sector employers. 

Illinois now provides unpaid leave for the victims and family members of victims of violent crimes

Minnesota has clarified a law regarding lactation breaks, stating that employers are not only required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for pregnancy or childbirth-related health conditions, but it also restricts employers from requiring employees to take leave or accept accommodations. 

New York passed a ruling clarifying the number of intermittent leave days in which an employee can take based on the Paid Family Leave Intermittent Leave Act; employees working five days per week may take a maximum of 60 intermittent days of leave per year in accordance with the Act.

The District of Columbia amended the Universal Paid Leave Act by, among many changes, increasing the number of weeks of paid time off for the purpose of medical leave from two to six workweeks per fiscal year and two work weeks per fiscal year for prenatal leave.

Interestingly, though California, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York cite an effective date of January 1, 2022, the District of Columbia passed its amendment on September 30, 2021, with an effective date of October 1, 2021, making these changes difficult to comply with as an employer. 

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