LABOR LAW NEWS

Vermont Senate Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill

By Kris Janisch
Published Jan. 21, 2020

Vermont Senate Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill

The state senate on Jan. 17 passed its version of the bill 20-9. The legislation now heads to the Vermont House, where it’s expected to receive a vote without any changes.

The Vermont Senate has moved forward with a paid family and medical leave bill, continuing a hotly debated measure from the previous legislative session.

The state senate on Jan. 17 passed its version of the bill 20-9. The legislation now heads to the Vermont House, where it’s expected to receive a vote without any changes.

Vermont Paid Family and Medical Leave Proposal

Fast Facts About Paid Leave Sick Family and MedicalUnder the proposal, workers would receive:

  • 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child or an adoption
  • Eight weeks of paid leave to care for a family member
  • Benefits paid depending on how much an employee earns
  • Average Vermonter would get 70 percent of pay

The Vermont paid family and medical leave bill would be funded through 0.2 percent payroll tax on most workers in the state. Employers could opt out if they provide a more generous plan.

Also, the legislation broadly defines “family member,” including domestic and civil union partners, grandparents and grandchildren, and more.

“The real heart of support for our elderly population is family. Family steps up and we don’t do enough to support the families that are caregiving. This is one small step we can do for them to allow them to take off work and get paid,” Sen. Michael Sirotkin, a Democrat, told a local CBS affiliate.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, however, has generally opposed paid family and medical leave proposals that would increase payroll taxes. He vetoed similar legislation in 2018. Yet the support from the Vermont Senate means lawmakers may have the votes to override a veto.

If enacted, the bill would go into effect Jan. 1.

Paid Leave Laws Nationwide

Following pushes for minimum wage increases and laws related to the #MeToo Movement, paid leave has risen to the forefront in the world of employment law.

With no federal law in place, many cities and counties have enacted paid sick leave laws, along with 11 states and Washington, D.C. Already in 2020, more than 200 bills related to paid leave in some form had been introduced. Managing paid leave has become a primary concern for HR pros across the U.S.

Meanwhile, paid family and medical leave is also gaining momentum. Eight states and D.C. have enacted such legislation.

Lastly, Maine, Nevada and Bernalillo County, N.M., have passed paid leave laws that allow employees to take time off for any reason.

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

Who is GovDocs?

GovDocs simplifies the complexity of employment law management (ELM) for large, multilocation employers across all industries. We offer a suite of innovative compliance products, including labor law postings, data software applications and other program management tools, to ease the day-to-day responsibilities of human resources, compensation, legal and finance teams.

Have less than 30 locations? 

The GovDocs Poster Store simplifies the complexity of posting compliance for employers with less than 30 locations across all industries. We offer a variety of posting products to meet your labor law compliance needs, including federal and state posters; county and city poster packages; and other HR posters. Plus, when you purchase posters with GovDocs Update Service, you ensure your locations automatically receive updated posters whenever changes occur.