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New York State Paid Family Leave

Applicability: Starting January 1, 2018, the New York State Paid Family Leave Program will provide New Yorkers job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.  New York Paid Family Leave Law applies to any employees of employers covered by the New York State Worker’s Compensation Law, regardless of the size of the employer. Public employers may opt-in to the program.

OverviewNew York’s Paid Family Leave requires employers to provide eligible full-time and part-time employees with paid, job-protected leave; to care for a newborn or newly adopted or placed child, care for a family member with serious medical condition, or deal with certain exigencies arising when a family member is called to active military services.  Employees are also guaranteed to return to their job and continue their health insurance.

TimelinePaid Family Leave is designed to phase in over four years, starting January 1, 2018.

Year

Weeks Available

Max % of Employee Salary

Cap % of State Average Weekly Wage

1/1/2018 8 50% 50%
1/1/2019 10 55% 55%
1/1/2020 10 60% 60%
1/1/2021 12 67% 67%

Employees may take the maximum benefit length in any given 52-week period. The maximum benefit is eight weeks during the first year, 10 weeks during the second and third years, and 12 weeks the fourth and subsequent years. The 52-week clock starts on the first day the employee takes Paid Family Leave.

EligibilityAn employee must be employed full-time for 26 consecutive work weeks or part-time for 175 days to be eligible. Employees do not have to take all of their sick leave and/or vacation before using paid family leave. An employer may permit use of sick or vacation leave for full pay, but may not require use of this leave.

Funding: Paid Family Leave coverage will be included under the disability policy all employers must carry. The premium will be fully funded by employees through payroll deductions, expected to begin approximately July 1, 2017.

Next Steps/Action Items:

  • Employer should contact their current New York Disability Benefits carrier to learn more about adding Paid Family Leave Coverage.
  • Employers should review and update employee handbooks and written leave policies.
  • Employers should prepare their payroll function to add another deduction for family leave benefits.

Additional Resources:

http://www.wcb.ny.gov/PFL/pfl-regs.jsp

https://www.ny.gov/new-york-state-paid-family-leave/helping-new-yorkers-need

Click here to download New York State Paid Family Leave: Issue Date: April 3, 2017

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