FAQ: New York State's Final Paid Family Leave Program Rulings

Date: August 02, 2017

New York State announced the final regulations for the Paid Family Leave program on July 17, 2017, and notices to all employers were mailed by the Workers’ Compensation Board on August 1.  We encourage our members to reach out to your NFIB/NY team with any questions. Below are some frequently asked questions about the program.

Who has to provide Paid Family Leave?
All private sector employers with at least one employee.

What’s the difference between disability and PFL?
Disability is taken for the employee’s own non-occupational injury or illness. 

PFL is taken for care of someone else including providing care for a family member with a serious health condition; bonding leave after giving birth, adoption or taking a child into foster care; or military leave if their spouse or domestic partner, child, parent is on active duty or has been notified that they will be called to active duty.

How is PFL funded?
PFL will be funded through EMPLOYEE PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS. Employers are responsible for collecting PFL contributions. The Department of Financial Services has set the rate for PFL at 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage not to exceed 0.126% of the state’s average weekly wage ($1305.92). This means a 2018 maximum contribution of $1.65/week for employees earning the NYS average weekly wage or above. 

NOTE as an employer, you will have to stay informed about the state average weekly wage, which changes every year. The Department of Labor releases the average weekly wage on March 31 each year. 

When are employees eligible for PFL?
Employees who work 20 or more hours/week are eligible after 26 weeks of employment. Employees with a schedule of 20 or fewer hours/ week are eligible after 175 days worked.

How much time are employees eligible for?
Employees are initially eligible for up to 8 weeks of paid leave at 50% of the employee’s weekly wage up to 50% of the state’s average weekly wage. 

The program will be phased in over four years with a gradually increasing benefit amount. When fully implemented on January 1, 2021, employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave at 67% of the employee’s weekly wage up to 67% of the state’s average weekly wage.

How much notice do employees have to give?
Employees must give 30 days notice for foreseeable leave.

All employees currently covered by disability become eligible for PFL on January 1, 2018. Some employees could be out as early as the first day of the new year.

NOTE an employee can take paid leave anytime during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, adoption or foster placement even if the event occurred in 2017.

How do PFL and FMLA work? 
If your business employs more than 50 people, you must coordinate PFL with FMLA. See this fact sheet/infographic to see the differences and similarities between PFL and FMLA. 

For more information on the new Paid Family Leave law, please visit the NYS website: Paid Family Leave: How it Works

Download the PFL Employer Fact Sheet


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