Panel Blog Series: Navigating the Evolving Regulatory Landscape of Leave Management Programs

by Kimberly Mashburn, National Accounts Practice Lead, The Hartford; EBS Gillette event session leader

Coming to a state near you? Paid Family and Medical Leave just might.

There may be a lull right now in statehouses around the country, but when the 2020 legislative sessions ramp up, expect a flurry of Paid Family and Medical Leave bills.

There certainly was in 2019. Get ready for more of the same next year.

Will your state be the next one to pass mandatory PFML laws?  Or will 2020 be the year that Congress finally adopts a national program?  And what does all this mean for employers?

You learn all that and more on Thursday, September 19, at EBS’s 4th Annual Gillette Stadium Benefits Symposium where I’ll be helping employers navigate the dynamic leave landscape on the state and federal level.

PFML is a topic that hits close to home in Massachusetts. The Bay State is one of eight states along with the District of Columbia that has a PFML law on the books. Like many other states, Massachusetts adopted its own program in absence of a national PFML policy.

When you join me at Gillette, I’ll walk you through what employers need to know to be compliant in Massachusetts because there are some deadlines fast approaching. For example:

  • Employer and employee contributions begin October 1st

  • Applications for private plan exemption due December 20th

More than two dozen states introduced PFML bills in 2019 in hopes of joining Massachusetts and the others. Of those states, only two – Connecticut and Oregon – managed to get the leave legislation over the finish line. Their programs will begin paying out benefits in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

The issue continues to be an active one in Congress as well. We are the only country among industrialized nations that does not guarantee Paid Family Leave, according to the WORLD Policy Analysis Center report on leave policies among 34 industrialized nations. Several bills – including at least one bipartisan proposal – have been introduced in Congress. We’ll be taking a look at those proposals as well.

If you are an employer in a PFML state, the mandated laws may overlap with your own Leave programs. That’s going to require effective coordination as you try to integrate the benefits for all the different leaves. How exactly will that work? I’ll help breakdown the alphabet of Leave for you – the PFL, PML, PSLs – all of which needs to be coordinated when an employee is out on leave.


Effective Leave Management is more important than ever now as more statutory leaves are added to an employer’s regulatory playbook. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to get up to speed on PFML laws, legislation and your responsibilities.

Hope to see you at EBS’ Gillette Stadium event on September 19th!

Find information on PFML in your state at The Hartford’s Paid Family & Medical Leave State Guide.

Join Kimberly Mashburn from The Hartford at EBS’ 4th Annual Gillette Stadium event on Thursday, September 19th to learn how to effectively comply with shifting, complicated requirements when creating leave programs in your organization. Sign up for one of four Alternative Funding Methods sessions:

Kimberly Masburn is the national accounts practice lead, Group Benefits. She joined The Hartford in 2014 as Absence, Disability and Wellness Consultant where she served as the primary point of contact for sales and account management to provide strategic direction and evaluation of absence, disability, workers compensation, wellness and productivity programs for employers.

Prior to joining The Hartford, Kimberly was Vice President at a consulting firm where she was the company’s subject matter expert for absence and productivity. She began her career as a registered nurse and served in several hospital-based leadership positions before becoming President and CEO of a large multi-specialty medical practice and then joined UNUM where she served in national accounts leadership roles.

Kimberly brings over 25 years of experience in the fields of absence and disability management, workplace productivity, wellness and return to work strategies. She has been published in numerous trade and financial journals and is often invited to present at national industry conferences as a recognized thought leader in absence and productivity management.

Kimberly is a graduate of The University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and is a certified corporate wellness specialist. She serves on the national board of directors for DMEC and is active in the Atlanta community as chair of an annual Women’s Leadership Conference.