From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short
From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short - February 3, 2023
The DCA boardroom was packed this week for our Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Ask the Experts session. This meeting was a continuation of our conversations with Chris Counihan who assumed the role of Director of the recently created Delaware Division of Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) which is housed in Delaware’s Department of Labor. Since assuming the role this past fall, Director Counihan has kept in contact with DCA regarding the establishment of the Division. Our first in person discussion with Director Counihan was at our Training and Education Committee meeting this past November. The November meeting was prior to the Department’s efforts to draft the law’s regulations. At that meeting, he committed to coming back to meet with our members’ human resources, payroll, and finance staff once an initial draft of regulations supporting the law were available.
Often, legislation is written in a broad fashion with supporting regulations providing the details. As passed into law, the PFMLA provides a significant amount of guidance resulting in much of the regulations just mirroring the law but there are additional details required and provided for in the draft regulations.
This meeting was a critical opportunity for the experts on your company’s team to walk through real world examples of what they will encounter with the regulation’s implementation. The conversation ran well past our scheduled time but was an easy and frank back and forth. One of the very practical suggestions made through the discussion was to have submissions follow the unemployment insurance submission dates which would provide a 30-day window following the close of each quarter. A significant portion of the conversation revolved around the issues of how employer information be can most efficiently provided to the state and a review of what the Division’s responsibilities are as compared to the employer’s responsibilities. Several important implementation dates were reviewed as well.
The draft PFMLA regulations have been provided to the attendees of the meeting as well as to our broader DCA member contacts. If you have not received a copy of the draft regulations and would like to have a copy for review and possible comment, please let me know and I will forward a copy to you. Director Counihan is seeking comments regarding the draft legislation by February 7th with the intention of filing the regulations with the Delaware Registrar’s Office mid-month beginning the formal public comment process. Comments can be emailed to Director Counihan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do email comments, please consider copying me so I can also be aware of your company’s recommendations. If you would like me to submit a comment you have written on your behalf, I’m happy to do that as well.
This sort of engagement between the experts within our membership and agencies charged with implementing legislation signed into law is an important part of how DCA helps to shape public policy in our state. Several other opportunities for DCA to connect your company’s payroll, human resources, and financial personnel with state officials on key new initiatives were identified through this session as well. Keep an eye out for upcoming Ask the Experts sessions on PFMLA as well as other topics having real impact on your businesses.