Written by Kronos Summer Intern, Megan Grenier. Megan is an intern with our product marketing team and our Gen Z insider. She’s returning to Saint Anselm College this fall where she’s studying communications.
Oregon just passed one of the most inclusive paid family leave laws in the country; the state now offers 12 weeks of paid leave to new parents, victims of domestic violence and people who need to care of an ill family member or themselves. During their leave workers will receive 100% of their paychecks, with a maximum of $1,215 in weekly benefits. Oregon’s law is one of the first to reflect that low-wage workers cannot survive financial hardship without 100% of their wages. Perhaps an even greater feat is the state also guarantees once you return from leave, you will still have your job – which isn’t true for all states.
Along with Oregon, New Jersey is the only other state to give victims of domestic violence paid leave. The inclusivity of Oregon’s bill goes even further, in which its definition of who counts as a family member extends beyond just blood relatives. Oregon’s new provisions illustrate that, “families come in all shapes and sizes” (Vicki Shabo).
Oregon and New Jersey aren’t the only states to change their leave laws. In May, Connetticut passed a new bill providing low-wage workers up to 95% of their wages, capping off at $900 a week. Massachusetts also passed a similar law. For workers in Massachusetts weekly benefit amounts are calculated as a percentage of your earnings, meaning weekly benefits may be different for each individual. During their 12-week leave the maximum weekly benefit for workers is $850 per week. So far, eight states have changed their family leave laws, and that number is quickly growing.
From complexity to success
Although not all states have changed their labor laws, the number of states that offer family leave has tripled in the past three years. As paid family leave is gaining strength, so does the complexity of tracking leave. Each new law can have its own rules and restrictions, requiring that each set of rules that applies to your state or local jurisdiction be incorporated into your HR/payroll system. For employers with operations in multiple states, this can be challenging, as they aren’t able to operate under a single set of rules. This can cause confusion for employees and makes it difficult for organizations to streamline configurations within their systems.
However, with the right HR technology in place you can stop worrying about leave regulations and start using them to help boost your organization’s employee experience. With the proper insights, information, and tools built into a unified HCM system, your organization can apply the appropriate policies and rules consistently, fairly, and accurately across your workforce no matter where they’re located.
With compliance technology your business can:
1. Say no to risky business
A strong unified HCM system will automatically update new rules and regulations as legislation changes; this keeps your organization up to date on the government’s constantly changing policies across HR, payroll, talent management, time, and scheduling. Ensuring accurate and consistent leave rules minimizes the risk of costly litigation and employee grievances.
2. Manage smarter, not harder
Using automated compliance options in an HCM platform allows your business to streamline your processes. This technology can help to accurately track leave eligibility, generate action letters based on policies, and provide alerts when thresholds are met. It also allows you to manage when people are taking leave, when they’re returning, how to backfill positions in their absence, and how to reinstate employees. Ensuring your employees can take leave when needed without compromising organizational goals gives you confidence that you’re meeting both your compliance obligations and strategic commitments.
3. Turn compliance to engagement
Not only is having compliance built into your HCM system helpful for your business, it’s also beneficial to your employees. Through self-service applications employees can easily request leave when they’re eligible for it and know how much they will be making during their leave. A proper HCM solution simplifies and automates the entire process of a workers’ leave, ensuring the kind of equal, fast, and fair policy enforcement that’s essential to maintaining a positive workplace culture.
Managing compliance effectively as part of a unified approach to HCM will help your employees better support their families. When your employees’ home lives are in order, they’ll be better able to manage their responsibilities at work, ultimately making your business more successful. Plus, you’ll gain a ton of value for your organization through automating previously manual processes, and this boost in efficiency will let you tackle far more strategic goals.