Bill Text: IA SF137 | 2021-2022 | 89th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to a family leave and medical leave insurance program that provides for paid, job-protected leave for certain family leave and medical leave reasons for eligible employees of specified employers.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 13-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-01 - Subcommittee: Chapman, Mathis, and Schultz. S.J. 206. [SF137 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2021-SF137-Introduced.html
Senate File 137 - Introduced SENATE FILE 137 BY BOULTON , GIDDENS , BOLKCOM , BISIGNANO , TRONE GARRIOTT , MATHIS , JOCHUM , QUIRMBACH , PETERSEN , J. SMITH , RAGAN , DOTZLER , and WAHLS A BILL FOR An Act relating to a family leave and medical leave insurance 1 program that provides for paid, job-protected leave for 2 certain family leave and medical leave reasons for eligible 3 employees of specified employers. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn
S.F. 137 Section 1. Section 7E.5, subsection 1, paragraph h, Code 1 2021, is amended to read as follows: 2 h. The department of workforce development, created 3 in section 84A.1 , which has primary responsibility for 4 administering the laws relating to unemployment compensation 5 insurance, job placement and training, employment safety, labor 6 standards, workers’ compensation, the family leave and medical 7 insurance program, and related matters. 8 Sec. 2. Section 84A.1, subsection 1, Code 2021, is amended 9 to read as follows: 10 1. The department of workforce development is created to 11 administer the laws of this state relating to unemployment 12 compensation insurance, job placement and training, employment 13 safety, labor standards, and workers’ compensation , and the 14 family leave and medical leave insurance program . 15 Sec. 3. NEW SECTION . 96A.1 Short title. 16 This chapter may be cited as the “Iowa Family and Medical 17 Leave Act” . 18 Sec. 4. NEW SECTION . 96A.2 Definitions. 19 As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise 20 requires: 21 1. “Child” means a biological, adopted, or foster child, 22 a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in 23 loco parentis, regardless of the child’s age or dependency 24 status. 25 2. “Covered employer” means a private sector employer who 26 has ten or more employees for each working day during each of 27 twenty or more calendar workweeks in the current or previous 28 calendar year, and a public employer without regard to the 29 number of employees employed. 30 3. “Department” means the department of workforce 31 development. 32 4. “Director” means the director of the department of 33 workforce development. 34 5. “Employee” means a natural person who is employed in 35 -1- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 1/ 24
S.F. 137 this state for wages by an employer. “Employee” also includes 1 a commission salesperson who takes orders or performs services 2 on behalf of a principal and who is paid on the basis of 3 commissions but does not include persons who purchase for 4 their own account for resale. “Employee” shall not include an 5 independent contractor, a self-employed person, or a patient or 6 inmate employed by a state or local institution to which the 7 patient or inmate has been sentenced or committed, or any of 8 the following persons engaged in agriculture: 9 a. The spouse of the employer and a relative of either the 10 employer or the employer’s spouse who resides on the premises 11 of the employer. 12 b. A person engaged in agriculture as an owner-operator 13 or tenant-operator, and the spouse or a relative of either 14 an owner-operator or a tenant-operator who resides on the 15 premises while exchanging labor with the owner-operator or the 16 tenant-operator for mutual benefit. 17 c. A neighboring person engaged in agriculture who is 18 exchanging labor or other services. 19 6. “Employer” means the same as defined in 91A.2. 20 “Employer” includes a temporary staffing agency or employment 21 agency. 22 7. “Employment benefits” means all benefits provided or 23 made available to an employee by an employer, including group 24 life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick 25 leave, annual leave, educational benefits, and pensions except 26 benefits that are provided by a practice or written policy of 27 an employer or through an employee benefit plan as defined in 28 29 U.S.C. §1002(3). 29 8. “Family leave” means a leave taken from work by an 30 employee for any of the following reasons: 31 a. To participate in providing care, including physical or 32 psychological care, for a family member of the employee made 33 necessary by a serious health condition of the family member. 34 b. To bond with the employee’s child after the child’s 35 -2- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 2/ 24
S.F. 137 birth, or with a child under the age of eighteen placed with 1 the employee for adoption or foster care. 2 c. Because of a qualifying exigency for a family member as 3 permitted under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 4 1993, as amended, and federal regulations as provided in 29 5 C.F.R. §825.126. 6 9. “Family member” means a child, parent, or spouse of an 7 employee. 8 10. “Gross earnings” means the same as defined in section 9 85.61. 10 11. “Health care provider” means a physician or other 11 health care practitioner licensed, accredited, registered, or 12 certified to perform specified health care services consistent 13 with state law. 14 12. “In loco parentis” means an individual who has 15 day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support 16 a child. 17 13. “Inpatient care” means an overnight stay in a hospital, 18 hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any 19 period of incapacity, or any subsequent treatment in connection 20 with such inpatient care. 21 14. “Medical leave” means a leave from work taken by an 22 employee made necessary by the employee’s own serious health 23 condition. 24 15. “Parent” means a biological, adoptive, step, or foster 25 father or mother, or any other individual who stands in 26 loco parentis to an employee or who stood in loco parentis 27 when the employee was a child. “Parent” does not include a 28 parent-in-law. 29 16. “Period of incapacity” means an inability to work, 30 attend school, or perform other regular daily activities due 31 to a serious health condition, treatment of a serious health 32 condition, or recovery from a serious health condition. 33 17. “Premium” or “premiums” means the payments required by 34 section 96A.12 and paid to the department for deposit in the 35 -3- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 3/ 24
S.F. 137 family and medical leave insurance account pursuant to section 1 96A.22. 2 18. “Public employer” means the state of Iowa, its 3 boards, commissions, agencies, departments, and its political 4 subdivisions including school districts and other special 5 purpose districts. 6 19. “Serious health condition” means an illness, injury, 7 impairment, physical condition, or mental condition that 8 involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, medical care 9 facility, or continued treatment or continuing supervision by 10 a health care provider. 11 20. “Spendable weekly earnings” means the amount remaining 12 after payroll taxes are deducted from an employee’s gross 13 weekly earnings. 14 21. “Spouse” means the person with whom an individual has 15 entered into marriage as defined or recognized under state law 16 for purposes of marriage in the state in which the marriage 17 was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into 18 outside of any state, if the marriage is valid in the place 19 where the marriage was entered into and the marriage could have 20 been entered into in at least one state, including a common law 21 marriage. 22 22. “Wages” means the same as defined in section 91A.2. 23 Sec. 5. NEW SECTION . 96A.3 Benefit eligibility. 24 An employee is eligible for family leave and medical leave 25 as provided in this chapter after working for a covered 26 employer for both a minimum of twelve consecutive months 27 immediately preceding the employee’s request for leave and a 28 minimum of one thousand two hundred fifty hours during that 29 twelve-consecutive-month period. 30 Sec. 6. NEW SECTION . 96A.4 Leave entitlement for a defined 31 twelve-month period. 32 1. An employee is entitled to a maximum of twelve weeks 33 of family leave during a defined period of twelve consecutive 34 months. 35 -4- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 4/ 24
S.F. 137 2. An employee is entitled to a maximum of twelve weeks of 1 medical leave during a defined period of twelve consecutive 2 months unless the employee experiences a serious health 3 condition, which is pregnancy-related, that results in a longer 4 period of incapacity in which case any extended medical leave 5 beyond twelve weeks shall conform with section 216.6. 6 3. An employee is entitled to a maximum combined total of 7 paid family leave and medical leave of sixteen weeks during a 8 defined period of twelve consecutive months. 9 4. An employee is not entitled to family leave or medical 10 leave of less than eight consecutive hours. 11 Sec. 7. NEW SECTION . 96A.5 Calculating the defined 12 twelve-month period. 13 The defined period of twelve consecutive months for 14 calculation of an eligible employee’s family leave or medical 15 leave entitlement begins on any of the following: 16 1. The date of birth of the employee’s child, or the date 17 of placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the 18 employee. 19 2. The first day of family leave that the employee takes for 20 a family member’s serious health condition or a family member’s 21 qualifying exigency. 22 3. The first day of the employee’s medical leave. 23 Sec. 8. NEW SECTION . 96A.6 Disqualification from leave 24 entitlement. 25 An eligible employee is disqualified for family leave or 26 medical leave benefits under this chapter for any of the 27 following reasons: 28 1. An absence due to the employee’s willful intention to 29 injure or cause a sickness to the employee or to the employee’s 30 family member. 31 2. An injury or sickness caused by the employee engaging in 32 an illegal act. 33 3. The employee’s absence due to an employer taking any 34 disciplinary action against the employee. 35 -5- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 5/ 24
S.F. 137 Sec. 9. NEW SECTION . 96A.7 Employee notice to employer of 1 intent to take leave. 2 1. If leave for the birth of a child or placement of a child 3 for adoption or foster care with an employee is foreseeable, 4 the employee shall provide written notice to the employer not 5 less than thirty calendar days before the date the leave is to 6 begin. 7 2. If the birth of a child or placement of a child for 8 adoption or foster care with an employee requires leave to 9 begin in less than thirty calendar days, the employee shall 10 provide written notice to the employer as far in advance as is 11 practicable. 12 3. If leave for a family member’s serious health condition 13 or an employee’s serious health condition is foreseeable based 14 on planned medical treatment, the employee shall do all of the 15 following: 16 a. Make a reasonable effort to schedule such medical 17 treatment, subject to the recommendation of the employee’s or 18 family member’s health care provider as appropriate, to not 19 unduly disrupt the operations of the employer. 20 b. Provide the employer with not less than thirty calendar 21 days prior written notice of the employee’s intention to take 22 leave for a family member’s serious health condition or the 23 employee’s serious health condition. 24 4. If leave for a family member’s serious health condition 25 or an employee’s serious health condition is not foreseeable, 26 the employee shall provide written notice to the employer as 27 far in advance as is practicable. 28 Sec. 10. NEW SECTION . 96A.8 Weekly claim, certification, 29 and verification. 30 Beginning January 1, 2026, family leave or medical leave 31 insurance benefits are payable to an employee during a period 32 in which the employee is unable to perform the employee’s 33 regular or customary work because the employee is on family 34 leave or medical leave if the employee meets all of the 35 -6- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 6/ 24
S.F. 137 following requirements: 1 1. The employee files a weekly claim for benefits with the 2 department as required per rules adopted by the director. 3 2. The employee meets the eligibility requirements pursuant 4 to section 96A.3 or the elective coverage requirements pursuant 5 to section 96A.14. 6 3. The employee consents to the disclosure of information or 7 records that may be deemed private or confidential under state 8 or federal law. Disclosure of such information and records by 9 another state agency or an employer to the department shall 10 be solely for purposes related to the administration of this 11 chapter. Information and records disclosed by an employee 12 under this chapter shall not be public records as defined in 13 section 22.1. 14 4. The employee authorizes the health care provider of the 15 employee’s family member or of the employee, as applicable, to 16 complete a certification of a serious health condition in a 17 form as required by the director. 18 5. The employee attests that written notice has been 19 provided to the employee’s employer per section 96A.7. 20 6. The employee provides documentation of a family member’s 21 qualifying exigency if requested by the employee’s employer. 22 Sec. 11. NEW SECTION . 96A.9 Waiting period for leave 23 benefits. 24 Family leave or medical leave insurance benefits shall be 25 payable to an eligible employee following a waiting period 26 consisting of the first seven calendar days of the employee’s 27 leave. However, no such waiting period applies to a leave for 28 the birth or placement of a child with an eligible employee. 29 Sec. 12. NEW SECTION . 96A.10 Weekly leave benefit amount. 30 1. The basis for the calculation of a leave benefit amount 31 shall be the weekly earnings of an eligible employee on the 32 day the leave is granted. “Weekly earnings” means the gross 33 earnings of an employee to which the employee would have been 34 entitled had the employee worked the employee’s customary hours 35 -7- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 7/ 24
S.F. 137 for the full pay period in which the employee is on family 1 leave or medical leave. Weekly earnings shall be computed as 2 follows, rounded to the nearest dollar, for an employee who is 3 paid on the following basis: 4 a. On a weekly pay period basis, the weekly earnings are the 5 weekly gross earnings. 6 b. On a biweekly pay period basis, the weekly earnings are 7 one-half of the biweekly gross earnings. 8 c. On a semimonthly pay period basis, the weekly earnings 9 are the semimonthly gross earnings multiplied by twenty-four 10 and then divided by fifty-two. 11 d. On a monthly pay period basis, the weekly earnings 12 are the monthly gross earnings multiplied by twelve and then 13 divided by fifty-two. 14 e. On a yearly pay period basis, the weekly earnings shall 15 be the yearly earnings divided by fifty-two. 16 f. On a daily or hourly basis, or by the output of an 17 employee, the weekly earnings shall be computed by dividing by 18 thirteen the earnings, including shift differential pay but 19 not including overtime or premium pay, of the employee earned 20 in the last completed period of thirteen consecutive calendar 21 weeks immediately preceding the start day of the leave. If 22 the employee was absent from employment for personal reasons 23 during part of the thirteen calendar weeks preceding the 24 leave, the employee’s weekly earnings shall be the amount the 25 employee would have earned had the employee worked when work 26 was available to other employees of the employer in a similar 27 occupation. A week that does not fairly reflect the employee’s 28 customary earnings shall be replaced by the closest previous 29 week with earnings that fairly represent the employee’s 30 customary earnings. 31 2. If on the date that an employee’s leave begins the 32 employee’s hourly earnings cannot be ascertained, the earnings 33 for the purpose of calculating the benefit amount shall be the 34 usual earnings for similar services where such services are 35 -8- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 8/ 24
S.F. 137 rendered by paid employees. 1 3. If an employee earns either no wages, or less than the 2 usual weekly earnings of a regular full-time adult laborer 3 in the line of work in which the employee is working in 4 that locality, the weekly earnings shall be one-fiftieth of 5 the total earnings which the employee has earned from all 6 employment during the twelve consecutive calendar months 7 immediately preceding the date that the employee’s leave 8 begins. 9 4. The weekly leave benefit amount payable to an employee 10 for any one week shall be eighty percent of the employee’s 11 spendable weekly earnings, but shall not exceed an amount equal 12 to two hundred percent of the statewide average weekly wage 13 as calculated by the department pursuant to section 96.1A and 14 in effect on the date that the employee’s leave commences. 15 However, the weekly leave benefit amount shall be a minimum 16 equal to the lesser of the weekly leave benefit amount of a 17 person whose gross weekly earnings are thirty-five percent of 18 the statewide average weekly wage, or to the spendable weekly 19 earnings of the employee. 20 Sec. 13. NEW SECTION . 96A.11 Payment of benefits to an 21 eligible employee. 22 1. The department shall send the first benefit payment to 23 an employee within ten calendar days after the first properly 24 completed weekly claim from the employee is received by 25 the department. Subsequent payments shall be sent at least 26 biweekly to an eligible employee if a properly completed weekly 27 claim from the employee is received by the department. 28 2. If an employer contests an employee’s initial claim 29 for family leave or medical leave benefits, the employer must 30 notify the employee and the department in the manner prescribed 31 by the director within ten calendar days of the employer’s 32 receipt of notice from the department of the employee’s filing 33 of a claim for benefits pursuant to section 96A.21, subsection 34 3. Failure to timely contest an initial application shall 35 -9- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 9/ 24
S.F. 137 constitute a waiver of objection to the family leave or medical 1 leave claim. 2 3. If the department or the employee’s employer contests 3 an employee’s eligibility for benefits after the employee 4 begins receiving benefits, the employee shall continue to 5 be paid benefits conditionally for any weeks for which the 6 employee files a claim for benefits. The employee’s right to 7 retain such benefit payments shall be conditioned upon the 8 department’s finding that the employee is eligible for such 9 benefit payments. 10 a. At an employee’s request, the department shall hold 11 conditional benefit payments until the department resolves the 12 employee’s eligibility status. 13 b. Payment shall be issued promptly for any withheld benefit 14 payments if the department determines that an employee is 15 eligible for benefits. 16 c. If the department determines that an employee is 17 ineligible for the conditionally paid benefits, the employee 18 shall repay the overpayment per rules adopted by the director. 19 Sec. 14. NEW SECTION . 96A.12 Funding the family leave and 20 medical leave insurance program. 21 1. Beginning on January 1, 2024, and ending December 22 31, 2025, the department shall assess for each employee 23 in employment with a covered employer a premium rate of 24 four-tenths of one percent of the employee’s wages based on the 25 amount of the wages, subject to subsection 6. 26 a. The premium rate for family leave benefits shall be equal 27 to one-third of the total premium rate. 28 b. The premium rate for medical leave benefits shall be 29 equal to two-thirds of the total premium rate. 30 2. For calendar year 2026 and subsequent calendar years the 31 director shall determine the percentage of paid claims related 32 to family leave benefits and the percentage of paid claims 33 related to medical leave benefits and adjust the premium rates 34 set in subsection 1 by the proportional share of claims paid 35 -10- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 10/ 24
S.F. 137 for both types of leave. 1 3. For family leave premiums a covered employer may deduct 2 up to forty-five percent of the full amount of the required 3 premiums from the wages of each employee. The remaining 4 fifty-five percent of the required premiums shall be paid by 5 the covered employer. 6 4. For medical leave premiums a covered employer may deduct 7 up to forty-five percent of the full amount of the required 8 premiums from the wages of each employee. The remaining 9 fifty-five percent of the required premiums shall be paid by 10 the covered employer. 11 5. A covered employer may elect to pay all or any portion of 12 its employees’ share of the premiums for family leave benefits 13 or medical leave benefits or both. 14 6. The director shall annually set a maximum limit on the 15 amount of an employee’s wages that are subject to a premium 16 assessment under this section that is equal to the contribution 17 and benefit base for the calendar year as determined by the 18 United States social security administration for purposes of 19 26 U.S.C. §3121(a). 20 7. For calendar year 2026 and subsequent calendar years, 21 the total premium rate shall be based on the family leave and 22 medical leave insurance account balance ratio as of September 23 30 of the previous year. The director shall calculate the 24 account balance ratio by dividing the balance of the family 25 leave and medical leave insurance account by the total wages 26 paid by covered employers. The division shall be carried 27 to the fourth decimal place with the remaining fraction 28 disregarded unless it amounts to five hundred thousandths or 29 more in which case the fourth decimal place shall be rounded 30 to the next higher digit. If the family leave and medical 31 leave insurance account balance ratio is any of the following 32 percentages, the premium shall be the following percentage of 33 an employee’s wages subject to a premium assessment: 34 a. If the ratio is zero to nine hundredths of one percent, 35 -11- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 11/ 24
S.F. 137 the premium shall be six-tenths of one percent. 1 b. If the ratio is one-tenth of one percent to nineteen 2 hundredths of one percent, the premium shall be five-tenths of 3 one percent. 4 c. If the ratio is two-tenths of one percent to twenty-nine 5 hundredths of one percent, the premium shall be four-tenths of 6 one percent. 7 d. If the ratio is three-tenths of one percent to 8 thirty-nine hundredths of one percent, the premium shall be 9 three-tenths of one percent. 10 e. If the ratio is four-tenths of one percent to forty-nine 11 hundredths of one percent, the premium shall be two-tenths of 12 one percent. 13 f. If the ratio is five-tenths of one percent or greater, 14 the premium shall be one-tenth of one percent. 15 8. Beginning January 1, 2026, if the account balance ratio 16 calculated in subsection 7 is below five hundredths of one 17 percent, the director shall assess a solvency surcharge at 18 the lowest rate necessary to provide revenue to pay for the 19 administrative and benefit costs of family leave and medical 20 leave insurance for the calendar year. The solvency surcharge 21 shall be at least one-tenth of one percent and no more than 22 six-tenths of one percent and shall be added to the total 23 premium rate assessed to each employee of a covered employer 24 for family leave and medical leave benefits. 25 9. A covered employer shall collect all required premiums 26 and surcharges from the employer’s employees through payroll 27 deductions and shall remit the amount collected and the amount 28 to be paid by the employer to the department as required by 29 rules adopted by the director. 30 10. On September 30 of each year the department shall 31 average the number of employees reported by an employer over 32 the last four completed calendar quarters to determine the 33 number of employees employed by the employer for the purpose 34 of determining if an employer shall be considered a covered 35 -12- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 12/ 24
S.F. 137 employer for the next calendar year. 1 Sec. 15. NEW SECTION . 96A.13 Conditional waiver of premium 2 for out-of-state employee. 3 1. An employer may file an application with the department 4 for a conditional waiver of the payment of family leave and 5 medical leave premiums assessed under section 96A.12 for an 6 employee who meets all of the following requirements: 7 a. The employee is physically based outside of the state. 8 b. The employee physically works in the state on a limited 9 or temporary work schedule. 10 c. The employee is not expected to physically work in the 11 state for one thousand two hundred fifty hours or more during 12 any consecutive twelve-month period. 13 2. The department shall approve an application that is 14 signed by both the employee and the employee’s employer 15 attesting to compliance with the requirements of subsection 1. 16 3. If the employee physically works in the state for one 17 thousand two hundred fifty hours or more in any consecutive 18 twelve-month period, the conditional waiver shall expire and 19 the employer and employee shall be responsible for all premiums 20 pursuant to section 96A.12 for the consecutive twelve-month 21 period in which the employee worked one thousand two hundred 22 fifty hours or more. Upon submission of the premiums by the 23 employer to the department, the employee shall be credited for 24 the hours worked during that consecutive twelve-month period 25 and shall be eligible for benefits under this chapter. 26 Sec. 16. NEW SECTION . 96A.14 Self-employed persons elective 27 participation in the family leave and medical leave insurance 28 program. 29 1. A self-employed person electing to participate in the 30 family leave and medical leave insurance program shall be 31 considered either an employer or employee under this chapter 32 as the context dictates. 33 2. For benefits payable beginning January 1, 2026, a 34 self-employed person may elect to participate in the family 35 -13- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 13/ 24
S.F. 137 leave and medical leave insurance program under this chapter 1 if the self-employed person meets all of the following 2 requirements: 3 a. The initial participation period for the self-employed 4 person must be a minimum of three years. 5 b. Any subsequent participation period by the self-employed 6 person must be for a minimum of one year. 7 c. The self-employed person must participate in both family 8 leave and medical leave. 9 d. One hundred percent of all premiums assessed by 10 the department under section 96A.12 shall be paid by the 11 self-employed person. 12 3. A self-employed person shall file a written notice of 13 election of elective coverage with the department in the manner 14 required by the director. 15 4. A self-employed person shall be eligible for 16 family leave and medical leave benefits after working one 17 thousand two hundred fifty hours in the state during the 18 twelve-consecutive-month period immediately following the date 19 of the written notice the self-employed person filed pursuant 20 to subsection 3. 21 5. A self-employed person who has elected coverage may 22 withdraw from coverage within thirty calendar days after the 23 end of each participation period pursuant to subsection 2, 24 paragraph “a” or “b” , by filing a written notice of withdrawal 25 as required pursuant to the rules adopted by the director. The 26 withdrawal shall take effect no sooner than thirty calendar 27 days after the self-employed person files the notice of 28 withdrawal. 29 6. If a self-employed person fails to submit the required 30 premium payments, the department may cancel the person’s 31 elective coverage. The cancellation shall be effective no 32 sooner than thirty days from the date of a written notice 33 from the department to the self-employed person advising the 34 self-employed person of the impending cancellation of the 35 -14- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 14/ 24
S.F. 137 self-employed person’s elective coverage. The department shall 1 collect all due and unpaid premiums from the self-employed 2 person for the remainder of the applicable participation period 3 pursuant to subsection 2, paragraph “a” or “b” . 4 Sec. 17. NEW SECTION . 96A.15 Employment protection. 5 1. An eligible employee who takes family leave or medical 6 leave under this chapter is entitled to either of the following 7 on the employee’s return from leave: 8 a. To be restored to the same position held by the employee 9 when the employee’s leave commenced. 10 b. To be restored to an equivalent position with equivalent 11 employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of 12 employment. 13 2. As a condition of restoration under subsection 1 for an 14 employee who has taken medical leave, the employer may apply 15 a uniform policy to the employee that requires an employee to 16 provide certification from the employee’s health care provider 17 that the employee is able to resume work. 18 3. Taking leave under this chapter shall not result in the 19 loss of any employment benefits accrued by an employee prior to 20 the date on which the employee’s leave commenced. 21 4. This section shall not be construed to entitle a restored 22 employee to any of the following: 23 a. The accrual of any seniority or employment benefits 24 during any period of leave. 25 b. Any right, benefit, or position of employment other than 26 any right, benefit, or position of employment to which the 27 employee would have been entitled had the employee not taken 28 leave. 29 5. This section shall not be construed to prohibit an 30 employer from requiring an employee on leave to report 31 periodically to the employer on the status and intention of the 32 employee to return to work. 33 6. An employer may deny restoration under this section to 34 a salaried employee who is among the ten percent highest-paid 35 -15- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 15/ 24
S.F. 137 employees employed by the employer within seventy-five miles 1 of the facility at which the employee is employed if all of the 2 following apply: 3 a. Denial of restoration is necessary to prevent substantial 4 and grievous economic injury to the operations of the employer. 5 b. The employer notifies the employee of the intent of the 6 employer to deny restoration on such basis at the time the 7 employer determines such basis exists. 8 c. The employee is on leave and elects not to return 9 to employment after receiving the employer’s notice of the 10 employer’s intent not to restore the employee. 11 7. This section shall not be construed as providing an 12 employee greater restoration rights than those required under 13 the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended. 14 Sec. 18. NEW SECTION . 96A.16 Maintenance of existing health 15 benefits. 16 If required by the federal Family and Medical Leave 17 Act of 1993, as amended, an employer shall maintain any 18 existing health benefits of an employee for the duration of 19 an employee’s leave under this chapter. If the employer and 20 the employee normally share the cost of such existing health 21 benefits, the employee shall remain responsible for the 22 employee’s share of the cost of such. 23 Sec. 19. NEW SECTION . 96A.17 Employer submission of reports 24 and maintenance of records. 25 1. Pursuant to rules adopted by the director, an employer 26 shall submit reports and furnish information related to 27 the family leave and medical leave insurance program to the 28 director. 29 2. An employer shall maintain at the employer’s primary 30 place of business a record of employment for each employee from 31 which any information needed by the department for purposes of 32 this chapter may be obtained. Such record shall be maintained 33 for ten years from the date on which an eligible employee 34 applies for family leave or medical leave under this chapter. 35 -16- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 16/ 24
S.F. 137 The record shall be open for inspection by the director at all 1 times. All personnel records and employee medical records 2 shall be maintained by the employer in compliance with all 3 applicable federal and state laws. 4 Sec. 20. NEW SECTION . 96A.18 Coordination of family leave 5 and medical leave with other laws and with employer policies. 6 1. Family leave or medical leave taken by an employee under 7 this chapter shall be in addition to any leave available to 8 an employee as required by applicable state or federal law 9 for sickness or temporary disability because of pregnancy or 10 childbirth. 11 2. Family leave or medical leave taken by an employee under 12 this chapter shall be taken concurrently with any leave taken 13 under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as 14 amended. 15 3. An employer may allow an employee who has accrued 16 vacation, sick, or other paid time off to choose to use either 17 such accrued time or to receive paid family leave or medical 18 leave insurance benefits under this chapter. 19 Sec. 21. NEW SECTION . 96A.19 Relationship to other state 20 and federal benefits. 21 In any week an employee is eligible to receive benefits under 22 chapter 85, 85A, 85B, or 96, or any other applicable state or 23 federal unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, or 24 disability insurance laws, the employee is disqualified from 25 receiving family leave or medical leave insurance benefits 26 under this chapter. 27 Sec. 22. NEW SECTION . 96A.20 Discrimination prohibited. 28 This chapter shall not be construed to modify or affect any 29 federal, state, or local law prohibiting discrimination on the 30 basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, 31 gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, or 32 other protected category. 33 Sec. 23. NEW SECTION . 96A.21 Department to administer 34 family leave and medical leave insurance program and conduct 35 -17- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 17/ 24
S.F. 137 outreach. 1 1. The director shall establish and administer the family 2 leave and medical leave insurance program and disburse family 3 leave and medical leave benefits to an eligible employee as 4 specified in this chapter. 5 2. The director shall establish procedures and forms for 6 an employee to file an application for benefits under this 7 chapter. 8 3. The department shall notify an employer within five 9 business days of an employee filing a claim for family leave or 10 medical leave insurance benefits. 11 4. Information and records pertaining to an employee under 12 this chapter that are maintained by the department shall 13 be confidential and shall only be available to department 14 personnel in the performance of official duties. 15 5. The director shall develop and implement an outreach 16 program to ensure that employers and employees are aware of 17 the family leave and medical leave insurance program and are 18 aware of the leave benefits available to eligible employees. 19 Outreach information shall explain in an easy-to-understand 20 format all of the following: 21 a. Eligibility requirements. 22 b. The application process. 23 c. How weekly benefits are calculated and the minimum and 24 maximum weekly benefit amount. 25 d. Restoration rights. 26 e. Nondiscrimination rights. 27 f. Confidentiality. 28 g. The relationship between employment protection, leave 29 from employment, wage replacement benefits under this chapter 30 and other laws, and employer policies. 31 6. The department shall be authorized to inspect and audit 32 an employer’s files and records relating to the family leave 33 and medical leave insurance program under this chapter. 34 Sec. 24. NEW SECTION . 96A.22 Family leave and medical leave 35 -18- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 18/ 24
S.F. 137 insurance account. 1 1. The family leave and medical leave insurance account 2 is created as a separate account in the state treasury in the 3 custody of the treasurer of state. 4 2. The director shall deposit all receipts from premiums 5 imposed pursuant to sections 96A.12, 96A.13, and 96A.14 into 6 the account. Expenditures from the account shall be used 7 only for the purposes of the family leave and medical leave 8 insurance program and only as authorized by the director. 9 3. All premiums deposited in the account shall remain in 10 the account until expended pursuant to the requirements of this 11 chapter. 12 Sec. 25. NEW SECTION . 96A.23 Rules. 13 The director shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A as 14 necessary to implement and administer this chapter. 15 Sec. 26. NEW SECTION . 96A.24 Enforcement. 16 The director may take any action under the director’s 17 authority to enforce compliance with this chapter. 18 Sec. 27. DIRECTOR ANALYSIS OF FUNDING THE FAMILY LEAVE 19 AND MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE PROGRAM AND REPORT TO THE GENERAL 20 ASSEMBLY. The director of the department of workforce 21 development shall conduct an analysis of the family leave 22 and medical leave insurance program as funded pursuant to 23 section 96A.12, as enacted in this Act, and of the benefits 24 paid pursuant to section 96A.10, as enacted in this Act. The 25 director shall determine if the premium rates and benefit 26 levels are appropriate to fully fund and maintain the solvency 27 of the family leave and medical leave insurance account. 28 The director shall submit the director’s findings to the 29 general assembly pursuant to section 7A.11 no later than 30 January 14, 2022. 31 EXPLANATION 32 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 33 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 34 This bill relates to a family leave and medical leave 35 -19- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 19/ 24
S.F. 137 insurance program (program), administered by the director of 1 the department of workforce development, that provides for 2 paid, job-protected leave for certain family leave and medical 3 leave reasons for eligible employees of specified employers. 4 An employee is eligible for family leave and medical leave 5 after working for a covered employer, as defined in the bill, 6 for a minimum of 12 consecutive months and a minimum of 1,250 7 hours during the 12 consecutive-month period immediately 8 preceding the employee’s request for leave. “Family leave” and 9 “medical leave” are defined in the bill. Family leave includes 10 leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious 11 health condition, to bond with a newborn child or adopted or 12 foster child, or for a qualifying exigency for a family member 13 as permitted under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 14 1993, as amended (FMLA). Medical leave includes leave due to 15 the employee’s own serious health condition. “Serious health 16 condition” is defined in the bill. 17 The bill provides that an eligible employee may not receive 18 more than 12 weeks of family leave, 12 weeks of medical leave, 19 or 16 weeks of combined family and medical leave in a defined 20 consecutive 12-month period. The defined consecutive 12-month 21 period begins on the date of the birth of a child or placement 22 of a child for adoption or foster care with an eligible 23 employee, or on the first date that an eligible employee takes 24 either family leave or medical leave. The minimum duration of 25 leave an eligible employee may take is eight consecutive hours. 26 The bill disqualifies an employee from family leave and 27 medical leave benefits under circumstances detailed in the 28 bill. 29 An employee must provide a minimum of 30 days’ notice 30 to an employer of the employee’s intent to take leave. If 31 circumstances require an employee’s leave to begin in less 32 than 30 days, the employee must give as much notice as is 33 practicable. If an eligible employee requests medical leave 34 or family leave, the employee must make a reasonable effort to 35 -20- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 20/ 24
S.F. 137 schedule their own, or their family member’s medical treatment, 1 to not unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. 2 The bill requires an eligible employee to file a claim 3 for benefits as required by the director. The employee 4 must consent to the disclosure of private or confidential 5 information to and from the department, and the employee’s 6 employer, for administration of the leave. The bill specifies 7 that such information is not a public record pursuant to Code 8 section 22.1. The employee must attest that the employee has 9 provided notice of intent to take leave to the employee’s 10 employer. The employee must also authorize the employee’s, 11 or the employee’s family member’s health care provider, to 12 complete a certification of a serious health condition. 13 The bill provides for a seven-day waiting period before 14 benefits are payable. There is no waiting period for benefits 15 for leave for the birth of a child or placement of a child for 16 adoption or foster care. 17 The basis for the calculation of the amount of a family 18 leave or medical leave benefit is an eligible employee’s weekly 19 earnings as defined in the bill. The weekly leave benefit 20 amount payable to an employee is detailed in the bill. 21 The department must send the first benefit payment to an 22 eligible employee within 10 days after a properly completed 23 weekly claim for benefits is received by the department. If 24 the employee continues to submit a properly completed weekly 25 claim, subsequent payments are to be made at least biweekly. 26 If an employer, or the department, contests an employee’s 27 eligibility, benefit payments may be made on a conditional 28 basis. The employee is required to pay the benefits back if 29 the department later rules that the employee is ineligible for 30 the benefits. 31 The bill provides that the program shall be funded via 32 employee and employer contributions. Beginning on January 1, 33 2024, and ending on December 31, 2025, the department must 34 assess a covered employer a premium rate of four-tenths of one 35 -21- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 21/ 24
S.F. 137 percent of an employee’s weekly wages, subject to a maximum as 1 determined by the director based on the maximum wages subject 2 to taxation for social security. One-third of the premium 3 is to be used to fund family leave insurance benefits and 4 two-thirds of the premium is to be used to fund medical leave 5 benefits. A covered employer may deduct up to 45 percent of 6 the medical leave premium and 45 percent of the family leave 7 premium from an employee’s wage. The employer must pay the 8 remaining 55 percent of both the medical leave and family 9 leave premiums, and may elect to pay all or any portion of its 10 employees’ share of such premiums. Beginning January 1, 2026, 11 the premium rate shall be calculated by the director based on 12 the family leave and medical leave insurance account balance 13 ratio as of September 30 of the previous calendar year. The 14 premium rate is adjusted based on the balance ratio as detailed 15 in the bill. 16 On September 30 of each year, the bill requires the 17 department to average the number of employees reported by an 18 employer over the last four completed calendar quarters to 19 determine if the employer is a covered employer for the next 20 calendar year. 21 The bill requires a covered employer to collect all assessed 22 premiums and surcharges from the employer’s employees through 23 payroll deduction and to remit all premiums to the department 24 as required by the director. 25 An employer may apply for, and the director must grant, a 26 waiver of premiums for an employee who is located physically 27 outside of the state and not expected to work in the state for 28 1,250 or more hours in any consecutive 12-month period. If 29 the employee subsequently works 1,250 or more hours within 30 the state, the employer and employee are responsible for all 31 premiums that should have been collected. 32 Self-employed persons may elect to participate in the 33 program as detailed in the bill. 34 An eligible employee who takes family leave or medical leave 35 -22- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 22/ 24
S.F. 137 is entitled to restoration of employment equal to but not 1 greater than that provided by FMLA. The bill provides that if 2 required under FMLA, an employer must maintain any existing 3 health benefits during an employee’s leave. If the employer 4 and employee normally share the cost of such, the employee is 5 responsible for paying the employee’s share of the costs. 6 A covered employer must submit reports as required by the 7 director and maintain employment records for each employee 8 from which the director may obtain information related to an 9 employee’s leave. Such records must be maintained for 10 10 years. 11 The bill provides that family leave or medical leave shall 12 be in addition to leave required under state or federal law 13 for sickness or temporary disability due to pregnancy or 14 childbirth. The bill requires family leave or medical leave 15 taken under this program to be taken concurrently with leave 16 taken under FMLA. A covered employer may allow an employee 17 to choose to use either accrued sick or vacation benefits, or 18 family leave and medical leave benefits. An employee cannot 19 receive family or medical leave benefits at the same time the 20 employee is receiving state or federal unemployment, workers’ 21 compensation, or disability benefits. The bill prohibits 22 discrimination on the basis of any state or federally protected 23 category. 24 The bill requires the director to administer the program and 25 to provide outreach to ensure that employers and employees are 26 aware of the program and the benefits available under such. 27 The bill provides that a family leave and medical leave 28 insurance account shall be created in the custody of the 29 treasurer of state. The director shall deposit all premiums 30 collected from employers into such account and the account can 31 only be used for the program as authorized by the director. 32 The bill requires the director to adopt rules as necessary 33 to implement and administer the provisions of the bill. The 34 director may take any action under the director’s authority to 35 -23- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 23/ 24
S.F. 137 enforce compliance with the bill. 1 Code section 84A.1(1) is amended to require the department 2 of workforce development to administer the laws relating to the 3 program. 4 The director is required to analyze the funding of the 5 program and the benefits payable from the program’s account. 6 The director shall determine if the premium rates and the 7 benefit levels are appropriate to fully fund and maintain the 8 solvency of the program. The director must submit the findings 9 to the general assembly no later than January 14, 2022. 10 -24- LSB 1288XS (6) 89 ko/rn 24/ 24
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