Bill Summaries: all (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: May 11 2016 - View summary

    Enacts new Article 21A, Paid Leave Benefits and Trust Fund, in GS Chapter 95, setting out nine terms and definitions for use in this Article, including employment benefits, family care leave, and temporary disability leave. Provides that employees are eligible for temporary disability leave or family care leave if the employee has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer. Provides that the approval or duration of such leave is limited as provided for by statute, including that for family care leave for the birth of a child or adoption, the entitlement for such leave expires after twelve months from the period beginning with the birth or placement. Provides that employers can require supporting documentation to request temporary disability or family care. Establishes several provisions concerning the impact of paid leave including restoration to previous position, maintaining accrued vacation leave, sick leave, bonuses, service time, and so forth. Further provides that during leave the employer must maintain and contribute to the employee's employment-related health insurance, as it existed prior to leave, up to 12 weeks during any 12-month period. Sets out notification requirements to make employers aware of impending, upcoming, or foreseeable absences. Includes various retaliation clauses making it unlawful to discharge, fire, suspend, expel, or discipline, reduce seniority, or otherwise discriminate against employees that exercise their rights to this leave as well as doing the same to anyone who has filed a complaint in regards to this section. Requires the Commissioner of Labor to interpret and enforce the provisions of this Article as well as adopt rules and regulations for those enforcement purposes. 

    Sets out provisions for calculating weekly benefit of paid leave on a sliding scale using an employee's yearly earnings as a percentage of the area median income, with an established weekly benefit cap of $1,000. Provides that beginning January 1, 2018, the Commissioner must annually adjust the maximum benefit amount. Also provides information on prorating of benefits for those who take leave on a part-time basis.

    Establishes a waiting period of one week before temporary or family care benefits can be paid out.

    Sets out certification requirements depending an what type claim the employee makes, whether it is for temporary disability benefits or family care benefits because of a serious health issue or birth, adoption, or foster care of a child. Provides for ineligibility to receive benefits if willful or false statements or representations have been made. 

    Provides ways that one can be classified as ineligible for the benefits for any specified week, primarily through receiving benefits from other government programs.

    Enacts new GS 95-246.3 to specify six ways in which employers or employer associations must secure temporary disability and family care benefits for their employees, including using private plans or agreements, through depositing and maintaining with the Treasurer of the State contributions the employer is required to pay out. 

    Establishes a family and employment security trust fund (Fund) in the Treasury of the State created for all payments made pursuant to this Article  and from which all disability benefits will be paid out. Also creates an administrative account made up of specified funding. Provides that the Secretary of State will be the treasurer and custodian of both. Further provides the processes and procedures for managing disbursing monies from the Fund and account, giving the State Treasurer authority to invest in bonds and other highly secure and readily available instruments. 

    Enacts GS 95-246.5 establishing notice and posting requirements, requiring all employers to give notice of the provisions of this new Article. Includes translation and language requirements. Sets out employer penalties for noncompliance with any or all of the notice provisions and requirements.

    Provides language which creates a presumption that all interpretations or readings of these provisions must be made in the favor of the availability of leave and the payment of disability benefits.   

    Effective July 1, 2017.