On June 25, 2021, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed into law the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan (“Plan”), which is the first voluntary paid family and medical leave program in the country. While the law went into effect July 1, 2021, actual coverage (Family Medical Leave Insurance “FMLI”) does not begin until January 1, 2023.”
New Hampshire employees will be entitled to up to six weeks of paid leave (up to 60% income replacement) for qualifying medical or family-related reasons including the following:
(a) Birth of a child of the employee, within the past 12 months;
(b) Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or fostering within the past 12 months;
(c) Because of a serious health condition of a family member;
(d) To care for an employee’s spouse, child, or parent who is in the military; or
(e) Because of a serious health condition of the employee that isn’t related to employment and the employer does not offer Short Term Disability insurance.
Wages used to determine the sixty percent (60%) wage replacement benefit will be capped at the social security taxable wage base maximum.
Public and private employers with 50 or more employees are able to opt-in to the Plan, with tax credits available for those employers who do so. Employers may elect to provide FMLI at no cost to their employees or on a contributory or partially contributory basis. Employers who choose to sponsor FMLI coverage for their employees are required to comply with anti-retaliation, anti-discrimination, and job-protection and restoration requirements.
Individual employees of employers who choose not to offer FMLI coverage under the Plan or who do not meet the minimum participation requirements and who do not offer FMLI coverage at least as equivalent as that provided under the Plan, may acquire FMLI through the purchasing pool for family and medical leave insurance administered by the Department of Employment Security.
For employers with greater than 50 employees opting-in to the individual pool coverage, premium remittances will be made by payroll deduction. For employers with less than 50 employees who wish to purchase FMLI through the Plan, premium remittances will be made to an FMLI premium fund administered by the Department of Employment Security.
Request for Proposals from private carriers shall be issued no later than March 31, 2022. The legislation provides that additional guidance and information regarding the benefit structure and other parameters of the Plan will be issued by the Commissioner of Employment Security.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.