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By
Aug 22, 2017

Looking for the latest updates on New York’s Paid Family Leave? Look no further.

The state of New York has recently passed legislation requiring almost all private employers to assure Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage for their employees. The legislation will take affect January 1, 2018.

What does this mean for employees?

The PFL law aims to create an experience where employees are not at risk of losing their job when their life outside of work can be overwhelming.
According to the PFL fact sheet, the law will provide paid time off so employees can:
      • Bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child.
      • Care for a family member with a serious health condition.
      • Assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty.
The new legislation will be funded by employee payroll contributions starting on July 1, 2017. This means your paycheck may already be experiencing deductions in order to fund the premium for PFL.

When it comes to eligibility, almost all full-time and part-time private employees will be qualified for PFL. After 26 weeks of employment with a schedule of 20 or more hours per week, employees are eligible to qualify for PFL. Furthermore, employees with a work schedule of 20 hours per week are able to qualify after working 175 days. Note, taking part in the new program is not optional for employees. Although, if you are a public employee your employer may opt into the program. Public employees in a union may be covered if your PFL is collectively bargained.

Employee benefits will gradually grow over the period of four years. Note, AWW is average weekly wage and SAWW is NY state average weekly wage.
  
Year
Weeks of Leave
Benefit
2018
8 weeks
50% of AWW, 50% of SAWW
2019
10 weeks
55% of AWW, 55% of SAWW
2020
10 weeks
60% of AWW, 60% of SAWW
2021
12 weeks
67% of AWW, 67% of SAWW
How does this impact employers?

New York’s PFL does not only affect employees, but employers too. As stated above, insurance coverage for PFL must be in place and available by January 1, 2018 and will exist under an employer's disability benefits policy.
 
Here are some of the responsibilities for the employer:
      • Employers must give wage replacement and job protection to employees that need to take time away from their job.
      • Employers are required to reinstate employees to their same or an equivalent position after taking PFL. Failure to do so could result in retaliation and discrimination claims.
      • It is the responsibility of the employer to inform employees of PFL. Employers must provide a poster displaying PFL in their place of business.
      • Health insurance must be continued for employees actively taking PFL. 

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