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News & Events : New York State Paid Family Leave Law – January 1, 2018

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New York State Paid Family Leave Law – January 1, 2018
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The New York State Paid Family Leave Law (“PFL”) goes into effect January 1, 2018. The PFL will require nearly all private employers in New York State with one (1) or more employees to secure Paid Family Leave coverage for all full-time and part-time employees.

The law will provide employees with paid leave for the following qualifying events:

  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • To bond with the employee’s child within the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child; or
  • to assist the family if the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the armed forces of the United States.

The law will be phased-in over a four-year period, beginning January 1, 2018. In 2018, employees may be eligible to take up to 8 weeks of Paid Family Leave at up to 50 % of their average weekly wages, capped at 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage.

Paid family leave is funded through employee payroll contributions that will be set each year to match the cost of coverage. The 2018 payroll contribution is 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage up to a possible maximum of $1.65 per week.

Recommendation

All New York employers will be required to distribute written guidance for employees concerning employee benefits and leave rights. This includes, but is not limited to, revising all current employee handbooks to include information about the PFL.  Furthermore and in addition to other required postings, employers will also be required to display and keep posted a printed notice concerning the PFL.

Please contact Jonathan D. Farrell, Esq. or Larry R. Martinez, Esq., Co-Chairs of the Labor & Employment Group at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP, for continued guidance regarding the PFL and its requirements.