– LD 1964 An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program
An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 3 MRSA §959, sub-§1, ¶I, as amended by PL 2021, c. 617, §1, is further
amended to read:
The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over labor matters shall use the following list as a guideline for scheduling reviews:
(2) Department of Labor in 2023;
(3) Maine Labor Relations Board in 2025; and
(4) Workers’ Compensation Board in 2025.; and
(5) The paid family and medical leave benefits program established in Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter 6-C in 2029.
This bill implements a paid family and medical leave benefits program based on the recommendations of the Commission to Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program established by the 130th Legislature. The program provides up to 12 weeks of family leave and up to 12 weeks of medical leave to eligible covered individuals. No more than 16 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 earning at least 6 times the state average weekly wage in the preceding 4 calendar quarters 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 120% of the state average weekly wage. The weekly benefit amount is 90% of the covered individual’s average weekly wage.
Covered individuals are required to file claims for benefits in accordance with rules adopted by the department administering the program and to provide certification that they qualify for family leave or medical leave.
The bill establishes the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund to support the program. The funds for administrative costs and payment of benefits come from payroll contributions of no more than 1% of wages shared by employers and employees, except that employers with fewer than 15 employees are not required to make employer contributions to the program. The bill also authorizes employers to provide these benefits through a private plan as long as the benefits for family and medical leave provided to their employees are the same as provided in the program.
The bill establishes the Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Authority to advise the administrator on the implementation and administration of the program.
The bill requires payroll contributions to begin January 1, 2025 and benefit claims to be processed beginning January 1, 2026.
The bill authorizes the Department of Economic and Community Development to conduct outreach with businesses about the paid family and medical leave benefits program.
The bill requires the program to be reviewed under the State Government Evaluation Act in 2029.