Common Sense Compliance: New Leave Laws

Tasha Patterson@Work

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New Leave Laws Highlight Value of IAM

By Marjory Robertson, Esq.

AVP & Senior Counsel
Sun Life U.S.

By Abigail O’Connell, Esq.

Senior Counsel
Sun Life U.S.

With the myriad of new temporary and permanent leave laws adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers need to adopt holistic integrated absence management (IAM) that includes accommodation to stay compliant and avoid pitfalls.

During the pandemic, employees may be entitled to paid leave and/or benefits under an employer’s program or the increasing number of statutory disability, paid family leave, and paid medical leave programs. States, cities, and counties have adopted similar laws, including prohibiting employers from taking negative action against employees who are unable to work due to the pandemic or are concerned about workplace safety. Many of these laws require the COVID-19 paid leave to supplement regular paid sick leave. For a time, there was also mandatory federal paid sick, family, and medical leave, and eligible employers still have “optional” paid federal leave for COVID-19 reasons.

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