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January 2023: Vermont to Launch Voluntary Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

24 Jan

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Vermont.

What happened?
On December 6, 2022, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced that the state will launch a voluntary paid family and medical leave program that will provide workers with such leave insurance by 2025. 

What are the details?
The Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan (VT-FMLI) will start being offered to state employees in July 2023 and will then be rolled out to other private employers and employees over the next two years.

What is covered under the VT-FMLI?
Under the first phase of the plan, Vermont state employees will be able to receive insurance coverage to provide 60 percent wage replacement for six weeks for qualifying events beginning in July 2023. According to the announcement, qualified events include:

  • “The birth of a child and care of a newborn child up to one year after birth;
  • The adoption of a child or foster care placement and care for the newly placed child for up to one year after placement;
  • Caring for an employee’s spouse, child, stepchild, foster child, [or] ward who lives with the employee, [or] parent or parent of the employee’s spouse who has a serious health condition;
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential job functions of their job; or
  • Any qualifying exigency arising [from] the employee’s spouse, child, or parent [who] is a military member on ‘covered active duty.’”

When will VT-FMLI be available?
The program will be rolled out in three phases. Phase I will begin for Vermont state employees on July 1, 2023. In Phase II, beginning on July 1, 2024, the program will be expanded to include other private and non-state public employers with two or more employees voluntarily. Beginning on July 1, 2025, employees for employers that do not offer VT-FMLI, self-employed individuals, and employers with one employee will be able to purchase coverage through the program through an individual purchasing pool.

Is the program mandatory?

According to the announced details, the program will not be mandatory. Instead, the program will allow private employers and other non-state public employers to voluntarily select from various plan design options best to support the needs of their employees and businesses. Employees can choose to purchase benefits from their employers, if available, or from the VT-FMLI individual purchasing pool, if not available from their employers.

For more information, please see the links below:

Office of Governor Phill Scot Announcement

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and should be on the lookout for any more news and guidance on how to enroll in this optional plan. Vensure will provide more information once more updates have been received.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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