The underlying objective of the New York State’s paid family leave program which begins in January 2018 is simple: If you, as an employee, need to take time off, be it for medical illnesses, pregnancy, active duty deployment, or a distressing personal event, New York State will now pay you a ration of your salary in weekly installments for up to 12 weeks. This money come from the portion of your salary that you would have been earning.
When is the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law coming into effect?
The New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (NYPFL) takes effect throughout the New York State at the start of January 2018 for private-sector employers. Here’s a summary of the details:
- The NYPFL was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
- It was finalized by the New York Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) in July 2017
- The law guarantees job-protected, paid, time off to almost every full-time private-sector New York employee
- The law also covers almost every part-time private-sector New York employee
- The received benefit will be capped on the state’s average income
How much can I earn on Family Paid Leave?
The New York State Family Paid Leave Benefits Law is now on a four-year plan. This plan will have employees earning a larger percentage of income in their time off with each passing year. However, the amount earned will be capped at the state’s average weekly income (not your average weekly income). Here’s a rundown of how the next four years will roll out:
Year 1 (Jan. 2018): Weeks off – 8, Pay Recovered – 50%
Year 2 (Jan. 2019): Weeks off – 10, Pay Recovered – 55%
Year 3 (Jan. 2020): Weeks off – 10, Pay Recovered – 60%
Year 4 (Jan. 2021): Weeks off – 12, Pay Recovered – 67%
As an employer, how does the Paid Family Leave Law affect me?
New York private-sector employers must adhere to the NY Paid Family Leave’s mandates (including its employee notice provisions) no later than Jan. 1, 2018. Therefore, it is paramount that employers make sure they are prepared to comply with the NYPFL prior to that date. I would suggest creating a written paid family leave policy for your company before Jan. 1st, as the plan may overlap with certain parameters that your company already complies with. It is also advisable to begin training your HR staff on the new benefits law, and get them familiar with employee’s new rights and responsibilities. For a more in-depth look at the NYPFL and its requirements, and recommends steps, refer here.
In enacting the New York Sate Paid Family Leave, New York has now joined California, Rhode Island and New Jersey. As of now, these are the only states in the nation that provide paid family leave benefits. However, once fully implemented, the NY Paid Family Leave will be the most comprehensive paid family leave law in the nation.
As an employer you might want to discuss how this will affect your company with a NY State employment lawyer. For more information, or for a free consultation on employment related legal issues, contact top NYC lawyer Joe Carbonaro today.