HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

104

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE DIRECTOR OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE TO STUDY, DESIGN, AND DEVELOP A PAID FAMILY LEAVE PILOT PROGRAM.

 

 


WHEREAS, most workers, at some point in their lives, may need to take time off from work to care for an ill family member; and

 

WHEREAS, under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended, certain employees who work for employers with fifty or more employees are eligible for up to twelve weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for qualifying reasons, such as a serious health condition of the employee or certain family members of the employee or other qualifying events; and

 

WHEREAS, employees who are temporarily disabled from work due to illness, non-work-related injury, and other specified conditions are eligible for paid leave under the Hawaii Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Law; and

 

WHEREAS, in contrast, under the State's Family Leave Law, certain employees who work for employers with one hundred or more employees are eligible for up to four weeks of unpaid job‑protected leave for qualifying reasons, which includes the birth or adoption of a child or to care for certain family members with a serious health condition; and

 

WHEREAS, family leave provided under federal and state laws is mainly unpaid, and as of March 2018, only seventeen percent of workers in the United States had access to paid family leave through their employers; and

 

WHEREAS, a report published by the Aloha United Way in 2020 titled "ALICE in Hawaii: A Financial Hardship Study", reported that despite the steady economic improvements in Hawaii from 2010 to 2018, during which the gross domestic product grew, the unemployment rate fell to historic lows, and wages rose, almost half of the families in Hawaii were struggling to make ends meet in 2018; and

 

WHEREAS, with such financial constraints, a majority of Hawaii's workforce cannot afford to take unpaid leave for family caregiving purposes, whether it be to take care of an aging family member or to care for a newborn; and

 

WHEREAS, in November 2019, the AARP Public Policy Institute reported that as of 2017, there were approximately 157,000 unpaid family caregivers in Hawaii, and while the majority of family caregivers are women, there is a growing trend for men, especially adult sons, taking on family caregiving tasks for their aging parents, other older relatives, or close friends; and

 

WHEREAS, forty-four percent of male family caregivers reported moderate to high financial strain as a result of caregiving; and

 

WHEREAS, the need for leave to care for elderly family members in Hawaii is expected to increase, as the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism projected in June 2018 that the percentage of residents aged sixty-five years and older, which constituted 17.1 percent of the State's population in 2016, is expected to rise to 19.1 percent in 2020, and to 22.6 percent in 2030; and

 

WHEREAS, as of January 2021, nine states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family and medical leave laws; and

 

WHEREAS, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was amended in 2020 to allow certain covered federal civilian employees up to twelve weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care occurring on or after October 1, 2020; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 109, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, began the groundwork to establish a paid family leave framework in the State by requiring the Legislative Reference Bureau to analyze the impacts of establishing a paid family leave program on certain industries, consumers, employees, employers, and caregivers that would enable the Legislature to choose a model or framework that will work best for Hawaii's workforce; and

 

WHEREAS, in December 2019, the Legislative Reference Bureau issued its Paid Family Leave Program Impact Study, which projected the costs and staffing required to establish and maintain a paid family leave system in Hawaii under three social insurance models:

 

(1) A system funded exclusively by the State, such as a state-administered insurance fund;

 

(2) A system that allows private plans to opt out; and

 

(3) A system in which the State's role is limited to governance of a system that is highly regulated and reliant on private markets or an insurance fund, or an employer mandate, such as the State's TDI Program; and

 

WHEREAS, the following table shows the resources necessary to implement each model:

 

 

State System Funded Exclusively by State

State System with Opt-Out for Private Plans

Highly Regulated Private Market, Insurance Fund, or Employer Mandate

 

Start-up Cost

$1,100,000

$1,100,000

$660,000

 

On-Going Support Cost

$2,623,669

$2,618,078

$1,102,875

 

Support Staffing

22.5 positions

22 positions

7.5 positions

; and

 

WHEREAS, the study further reported that regardless of which paid family leave model is adopted, there are pertinent policy aspects that will need to be determined, such as the benefit amount and wage replacement ratio; length of leave, including maximum weeks of leave for bonding and family caregiving; employer and employee eligibility; covered family relationships; whether to provide job protection; and more; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the Senate concurring, that the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations is requested to convene a task force to study, design, and develop a Paid Family Leave Pilot Program covering the employers and employees in the County of Kauai, to be implemented by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations as a trial program that could eventually be expanded to cover all public and private sector workers in the State; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Paid Family Leave Pilot Program shall be modeled after, and similar to, the paid leave program established under the Hawaii TDI Law, chapter 392, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to include the following members:

 

(1) The Director of Labor and Industrial Relations or the Director's designee, who is requested to serve as the chairperson of the task force;

 

(2) The Director of Human Resources Development or the Director's designee;

 

(3) The Director of Finance or the Director's designee;

 

(4) The Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee;

 

(5) The Mayor of the County of Kauai or the Mayor's designee;

 

(6) Two representatives from public sector labor organizations in Hawaii, one to be appointed by the President of the Senate and one to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

 

(7) Two representatives from private sector labor organizations in Hawaii, one to be appointed by the President of the Senate and one to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

 

(8) Two representatives from the insurance companies authorized to write TDI policies in Hawaii to be appointed by the Governor;

 

(9) Two representatives of business organizations in Hawaii, one to be appointed by the President of the Senate and one to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and

 

(10) Two representatives of small business organizations in Hawaii, one to be appointed by the President of the Senate and one to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; provided that one of the two shall be a resident of the County of Kauai; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to commence its work upon the appointment of a simple majority of its members; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to submit a report describing the progress made by the task force and its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the report include:

 

(1) Recommendations for the basic structure of the Paid Family Leave Pilot Program, including but not limited to:

 

(A) Eligibility criteria for employees, such as a minimum amount of time worked or earnings achieved;

 

(B) Benefit amounts and wage replacement ratio;

 

(C) Length of leave, including maximum weeks of leave, for bonding and family caregiving;

 

(D) Qualifying events;

 

(E) Covered family relationships;

 

(F) Whether to provide job protection;

 

(G) Interaction with the State's TDI Program;

 

(H) The administrative structure;

 

(I) Claims management; and

 

(J) Duration of the Paid Family Leave Pilot Program; and

 

(2) Impacts and estimated costs of establishing and implementing the Paid Family Leave Pilot Program, including the fiscal and administrative impacts on the State and the impacts on public sector collective bargaining and civil service laws; and

 

(3) Opportunities and challenges of expanding the Paid Family Leave Pilot Program to the State's entire workforce; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be dissolved on June 30, 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Director of Labor and Industrial Relations, Director of Human Resources Development, Director of Finance, Attorney General, and Mayor of the County of Kauai.

Report Title:

Paid Family Leave Pilot Program; Task Force