NEW YORK ADDS ORGAN DONATION TO STATE PAID FAMILY LEAVE REASONS

Posted on: November 12, 2018 0

Last month we addressed some leave of absence bills pending in various state legislatures.  New York’s governor has signed one of these bills into law, adding organ and tissue donation to the definition of “serious health condition” under the New York Paid Family Leave law (NY PFL).

Specifically, a serious health condition will now include “transplantation preparation and recovery from surgery related to organ or tissue donation.”  NY PFL only applies to leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition and other family leave reasons, so this will not affect employees’ own disability leaves. The law does not make any additional changes to the NY PFL, but it does include a prohibition against discrimination in the provision of life, accident, health, and long term care insurance based on the status of an insured as a living organ or tissue donor.

Definitions of “organ” and “tissue” are incorporated from the NY Public Health Law as follows:

4. “Organ” means a human kidney, heart, heart valve, lung, pancreas, liver or any other organ designated by the commissioner in regulation in consultation with the transplant council.

10. “Tissue” means a human eye, skin, bone, bone marrow, heart valve, spermatozoon, ova, artery, vein, tendon, ligament, pituitary gland or a fluid other than blood or a blood derivative.

What impact will this law have on family care leaves under NY PFL? Perhaps very little. Under NY PFL an employee is already entitled to take paid time off to care for certain family members with a serious health condition. This term is defined to include an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

(1) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or

(2) three days of incapacity due to a medical condition and continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider

It is hard to imagine a situation where an employee’s family member is an organ or tissue donor that doesn’t already satisfy one or both of these definitions of serious health condition.   As a result, there is not likely to be much, if any, increase in use of NY PFL to care for a family member due to this new law.

The text of the law can be accessed through a link on this page.   The new law goes into effect on February 3, 2019.

 

Matrix Can Help!

At Matrix we monitor state and federal legislative developments daily and report on any new or advancing leave- and accommodation-related laws to keep our clients and other business partners up to date.  If you ever have questions about leave and accommodation laws – current or just introduced! – please contact your account manager or send an email to ping@matrixcos.com.

Colorado Passes Living Donor Leave Act

Posted on: June 21, 2018 0

BY MARTI CARDI, VP-PRODUCT COMPLIANCE & GAIL COHEN, DIRECTOR-EMPLOYMENT LAW/COMPLIANCE

Tax credits to reward good employer policies?  Offering tax credits to encourage paid leaves of absence is cropping up more often recently.  The federal government included a tax incentive in the December 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for employers providing from 2 to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for reasons covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Our blog post on this federal tax incentive can be found here.   Some states, such as Connecticut and Utah, have tried to follow the same path this year, introducing tax incentive bills rather than full-fledged paid family and medical leave laws; but so far none has passed except the limited-purpose law just enacted in Colorado.

Colorado’s donor leave incentive law.  Colorado has passed a law creating a state tax credit for employers who voluntarily provide a paid leave of absence for an employee to serve as an organ donor.   The tax credit is limited to leaves of absence up to 10 working days or the hourly equivalent.   An employer may claim as the tax credit 35% of (1) the amounts the employer pays to the employee during the leave of absence; and (2) costs incurred by the employer, if any, for temporary replacement help during the employee’s leave.

The tax credit does not apply to any period during which the employee uses other paid leave already offered by the employer such as vacation, paid time off, or sick days.  In addition, the tax credit is available only for paid leave provided to employees who receive less than $80,000 in annual wages.

The employer must be able to provide documentation from the employee’s medical provider verifying the organ donation to support the claimed tax credit.  Although not addressed directly, this implies that the employer can (and should) require medical documentation from the employee as a condition of receiving the paid leave of absence.

The law will go into effect for leaves of absence on or after January 1, 2020, and sunsets on December 31, 2024.  You can view the full text here.

Colorado’s law does not require employers to provide time off for organ donation, nor does it provide job protection for the leave of absence; that will depend on the employer’s policies.  Several other states do have laws providing employees with time off for donation of an organ, bone marrow, and blood or its components.  See our previous blog post summarizing those state laws here.

MATRIX CAN HELP!  Matrix provides leave, disability, and accommodation management services to employers seeking a comprehensive and compliant solution to these complex employer obligations. We monitor the many leave laws being passed around the country and specialize in understanding how they work together. For leave management and accommodation assistance, contact us at ping@matrixcos.com.