This Act makes changes to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. It removes the employer as the party responsible for making eligibility determinations and claims decisions and instead reallocates this responsibility to the Department of Labor and gives the Department authority to enter into contracts with other entities to review and adjudicate claims for benefits.
This Act makes other changes throughout Chapter 37 of Title 19 concerning eligibility criteria and requirements for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. It clarifies that schools are not exempt from being considered employers; clarifies that family leave benefits are not payable for time taken after the death of an individual for whom an employee is on approved family leave; removes the ability of employers with fewer than 25 employees to elect to provide reduced parental leave; removes a provision that results in the aggregation and potential capping of benefits for employees who work multiple jobs with the potential for employees to pay more in contributions and receive less in benefits than they would otherwise be due; requires the Department to set contribution rates, statewide average weekly wages, and maximum benefits; removes a provision authorizing employers to require that payment be made concurrently or otherwise coordinated with payment made or leave allowed under the terms of disability or family care leave under a collective bargaining agreement or employer policy; removes a provision allowing employers to require employees to use accrued paid time off before accessing family and medical leave benefits and count that accrued paid time off toward the total length of leave allowed under Chapter 37 of Title 19; authorizes an employee an option to use a private review process of a private plan’s denial of benefits prior to appealing to the Department; clarifies that denials of claims are subject to the appeal provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act; and clarifies that employers who violate the requirements of Chapter 37 of Title 19 are subject to a penalty only where the violation is due to wilful misconduct or gross negligence. This Act makes changes to ensure that child support obligations are fulfilled and benefit checks account appropriately for child support deductions and to allow the Department to make garnishments to enforce judgments obtained under this chapter.
This Act also updates relevant sections of Title 13 to allow for child support deductions of PFMLA benefits as appropriate.
This Act also makes technical corrections to conform to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.