Delaware Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill Introduced

By Kris Janisch
Published March 8, 2022

Delaware Paid Family and Medical Leave

If passed, employees in Delaware would have access up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for a qualifying event.

Delaware paid family and medical leave? It could be coming to the state under a recently introduced bill.

Dubbed the Healthy Delaware Families Act, the bill would create a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program.

Employees in Delaware would have access up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for a qualifying event. It would be paid for through a trust fund via payroll contributions, starting with 0.4 percent in 2025 and 2026.

The legislation (SB1) on March 4, 2022, was assigned the Delaware Senate Finance Committee.

Paid Family and Medical Leave in Delaware

If passed, the paid family and medical leave law would apply to Delaware employers with 10 or more workers. (Employers with 10 to 24 employees during the previous 12 months would only be subject to the parental leave provisions of the law.)

The law would create a fund that begins collecting money from employers and employees in 2025 and qualifying employees would be eligible for benefits in 2026.

Qualifying events include:

  • To address an employee’s own serious health condition
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • To bond and care for a new child
  • To address the impact of a family member’s military deployment

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According to the legislation at this point, the weekly benefit would be 80 percent of the covered individual’s average weekly wages rounded up to the nearest even $1 increment during the 12 months preceding a request to use the paid leave.

The minimum weekly benefit would not be less than $100 a week, but if the covered individual’s average weekly wage is less than $100 a week, the weekly benefit would be the employee’s full wage. Meanwhile, the maximum weekly benefit in 2026 and 2027 would be $900. In each year after 2027, the maximum weekly benefit would increase in proportion to the annual average increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index.

Related: Delaware Minimum Wage Schedule

Other Considerations

The bill for Delaware paid family and medical leave also includes:

  • Recordkeeping and notice requirements
  • Anti-retaliation language
  • Labor law posting requirement
  • Ability for employers to provide private plan if it meets the standards of the law
  • An active date of July 1, 2022

Paid Leave Laws Elsewhere

Only a handful of jurisdictions have active paid family and medical leave laws.

But dozens have paid sick leave laws, and these laws continue to grow in numbers and complexity. Plus, the pandemic has added an extra layer of laws for employers to comply with.

It all adds up to a major compliance challenge for large employers, and HR teams must continue to monitor jurisdictions where they have locations for new employment laws — not only paid leave, but minimum wageban-the-box lawspredictive scheduling and more.

Paid Leave Glossary


It remains to be seen how Delaware lawmakers will respond to the proposed family and medical leave bill. But neighboring jurisdictions, including New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have enacted paid family and medical leave laws.

Like all aspects of employment law, HR and compliance teams must monitor their locations across the U.S. to keep ahead of potential changes and new obligations.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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