SB 1049 - This act creates the Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Program.
Under this act, all employees are entitled to up to 30 days of wage replacement benefits for any of the following reasons:
• For the purpose of caring for a family member with a serious health condition;
• For the purpose of bonding with a minor child within the first year of birth or placement in connection with foster care or adoption; or
• For the purpose of tending to an employee's own serious health condition.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is responsible for administering the program.
Employees are entitled to benefits equal to 100% of his or her average daily pay for each full day taken for family or medical leave. The maximum amount of benefits an employee may receive during any leave period shall be 30 times the average daily pay amount. Benefits may not be received for longer than six weeks in any one calendar year. Moreover, employees may not receive benefits until they have worked for their present employer for at least one year.
Employees have 41 days following the first day on which he or she begins to take family or medical leave to file a claim with the department.
Employees may not receive benefits on any day for which they are entitled to receive unemployment, workers' compensation, or disability benefits. Further, leave taken under this act must be taken concurrently with leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act.
Each employee applying for benefits shall show, on a certificate provided by the Department, that he or she is entitled to leave under the act.
Employees are entitled to appeal a determination of benefits to an administrative law judge. A decision by an ALJ may be appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction. The Department is further entitled to make a redetermination of benefits under certain circumstances. In the event of a redetermination, the employee shall receive prompt notice of such redetermination.
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person because an employee has applied for, indicated an intent to apply for, or received Missouri earned family and medical leave benefits. Courts hearing such complaints may grant injunctive, equitable, or compensatory relief to employees. Either an employee or a third party acting on behalf of an employee may bring an action seeking relief for discrimination under this act. The Department is also permitted to bring an action for discrimination under the act, however in the event that it does, the employee is thereafter barred from bringing his or her own action.
The Department is required to develop and implement an outreach program to make employees aware of their rights, duties, and responsibilities under this act.
The State Auditor is required to complete an audit of the program no later than 3 years following the passage of the act.
Employees shall fund the program by contributing .025% of his or her average daily pay to the program. Employers may also contribute to the program at their discretion. In the event that an employer contributes funds sufficient enough to cover 100% of the funds necessary to cover all of their employees, such employees are not required to contribute to the program. If an employer covers a fraction of the program costs, employees are only required to cover the remaining fraction of such program costs. Contributions to the program may begin January 1, 2017, but no employee may receive benefits until January 1, 2018.
This act is substantially similar to HB 2536 (2016) and similar to SB 983 (2016), HB 2806 (2016), and HB 1161 (2015) .