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Difference Between FMLA And PFL

fmla_bookFMLA vs PFL

FMLA stands for Family and Medical Leave Act while PFL stands for Paid Family Leave Act.

FMLA is a federal act that was passed in 1993 and applies to the entire United States of America. This act provides an ‘eligible’ employee be entitled to a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period. The PFL is a California state law enacted in 2002. This law provides for up to 6 weeks of paid leave in a 12 month period to employees who take time off to attend to self or family requirements. The compensation provided so can be between USD 50 to USD 880 per week. This compensation depends on the past earnings of the employee on a quarterly basis.

While the FMLA guarantees the ‘eligible’ employees leave to attend to serious medical illness of self, spouse, child or parent, to care for the newborn, any other family exigencies. The PFL does not guarantee the leave but only provides for the compensation. The leave will have to be under FMLA / CFRA or the employer’s policy and discretion.

While the FMLA does not require any contribution or commitment from the employee’s side, under the PFL, the employees are required to be participating in the State Disability Insurance or any other voluntary insurance. PFL is totally funded by the employee’s contributions which are generally at a rate of 0.08%. The compensation is 55% of the wages drawn. An employee would not be entitled to receive the PFL if he is already getting the worker’s compensation, state disability insurance or the unemployment compensation insurance.

The other difference is that FMLA only covers employers with a minimum of 50 employees, however, the PFL has no such restriction. However, the employers not covered under the FMLA / CFRA are not required by law to grant the leave to the employee or hold his job.

Summary
1. FMLA stands for Family and Medical Leave Act while PFL stands for Paid Family Leave Act.
2. FMLA is a federal act and is mandatory for all eligible employers to honor it while PFL is a state act applicable in California.
3. While FMLA guarantees the employee unpaid leave of 12 weeks over a 12 month period, the PFL provides for up to 6 weeks of paid leave in a 12 month period.
4. While the PFL does provide for partial pay during leave, however, it does not guarantee leave.
5. The FMLA does not require any contribution from the eligible employees, however, the PFL is totally funded by employee contributions and only participating employees are eligible.
6. While the FMLA only covers employers with more than 50 employees, the PFL applies to all employees participating.


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  1. Difference Between FMLA And Workers Compensation | Difference Between | FMLA And Workers Compensation

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