What is New York’s Paid Family Leave

What is New York’s Paid Family Leave?

Starting in 2018, New York passed a new law that provides employees paid benefit time off so they can:

  • bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child
  • care for a family member with a serious health condition, or
  • assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty.

Paid family Leave gives employees additional protections which include:

  • The right to return to their same or comparable job upon return from PFL
  • Guaranteed continued health insurance while on leave. Employers may require employees to continue their contributions to health insurance premiums.
  • Employers cannot discriminate against employees for taking Paid Family leave.
  • Citizenship status also is not impacted

Employees with a regular work schedule of great than 20 hours per week are eligible after 26 weeks of employment.

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What is the Paid Family Leave Benefits?

Since this law was passed in 2018 the benefits and costs have been phased in. Starting in 2018, employees were eligible for 8 weeks of leave with up to 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage.

Here is how the next 3 years after look:

2019                     10 weeks of leave                    55% of employees average weekly wage  2020                     10 weeks of leave                    60% of employees average weekly wage  2021                     12 weeks of leave                    67% of employees average weekly wage

Who is responsible to pay for PFL

These benefits are paid for through a small weekly payroll deductible which should have been set up by your payroll company.

The money sits with the employer and is usually paid in full along with your annual short term disability policy. Most disability policies run from January to January.

With the rise of the claims and the annual phase-in an increase of the benefit, employers should expect to see the cost of this policy increase in the next few years.

If you are looking to start a business in New York, make sure you pay attention to the cost of this policy. With the costs increasing annually, we are starting to see these policies make a large difference for many small businesses.

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