The Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Paid Leave (DPL) has begun the public comment period for proposed regulations for the new statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program that goes into effect in 2025.
The regulations will remain published for the 30-day public comment period at regulations.delaware.gov.
This important stage in the program seeks feedback on the legislation that impacts most Delaware wage earners and many employers by providing added support to working individuals who have a new child or need to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member.
DPL — the newest division of the Delaware Department of Labor— is asking interested parties, especially employers and employees, to use the public comment period to provide insights on ways the new program could affect them professionally and personally.
“The insights we receive will be extremely valuable to the Division of Paid Leave as we implement and assess the new program, as well as along our path of shaping the future vision and work of this new division,” said Christopher Counihan, director, Division of Paid Leave, at the Delaware Department of Labor. “We are hoping to hear from Delawareans how the paid leave program might support their family as they care for loved ones. And we especially want to hear from Delaware’s employers—everything from challenges they feel the program may present to potential benefits in employee attraction, retention, and more.”
The open comment period also serves as to tell as many Delawareans as possible that the Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program is taking effect Jan. 1, 2025, and to continue to educate employers and employees on how it works and the opportunities it can offer.
Created under the Healthy Delaware Families Act—signed into law in May 2022—the Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program offers eligible Delaware workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to address one’s own serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, to bond with and care for a new child, or to address the impact of a family member’s military deployment.
This landmark legislation makes Delaware the 11th jurisdiction—preceded by neighboring jurisdictions of New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.—to offer a paid family and medical leave program for many of its workers.
Delaware’s Paid Family Medical Leave insurance program is largely based on the federal rules of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) program that has been in place since 1993. It is designed to replace up to 80% of a covered individual’s average weekly wage. Other details about Delaware’s Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program are as follows:
- It provides up to 12 weeks of leave to employees covered by the plan.
- Employers with at least 10 employees in Delaware will be required to contribute to the fund.
- Contributions to the program will begin Jan. 1, 2025.
- Employees may be responsible for up to half the cost of the program.
- Employees will be able to use the paid leave program beginning Jan. 1, 2026.
Submitting Public Comments
Between Monday, May 1, and Tuesday, May 30, 2023, anyone can submit comments on the proposed regulations to Delaware’s Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program. Comments or questions should be addressed to Christopher Counihan, Director, Division of Paid Leave, and submitted by:
- Mail—Delaware Department of Labor, 4425 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19802