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    Tuesday October 15, 2019

    Washington News

    Washington Hotline

    National Work and Family Month

    In 2003, the U.S senate passed a resolution establishing October as National Work and Family Month. To support families, the IRS published IR-2019-166. It explains the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the employer credit for providing family paid leave.

    Employers with 50 or more employees generally are covered by FMLA. The basic goal of FMLA is to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities. Covered workers should give the employer 30 days notice of a birth or adoption. Employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child, an adoption or to care for a close relative. The employee qualifies for normal benefits during the FMLA leave.

    After the FMLA leave, employees have the right to return to their original position. An exception is provided for employees in the top 10% pay grade if there is potential for a "grievous economic injury" to the business.

    To encourage employers to provide paid family leave to employees, Congress passed the Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave. The credit is available for years 2018 and 2019. For a paid family leave policy with 50% of salary for two weeks, the credit is 12.5% of wages paid for qualifying employees. It increases by 0.25% for each percent of compensation over 50%, with a maximum credit of 25% of wages paid for qualifying employees. The credit is available to the employer for employees with compensation of $72,000 or less.

    Editor's Note: The FMLA and the Employer Credit are both helpful for families. With the increasing number of two-income families in the nation, these laws are particularly important to facilitate better care for newborn and adopted children.

    Published October 11, 2019
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