Updates To The New York State Paid Family Leave Law

The New York State Paid Family Leave Law requires that every New York State employer provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the following:

  • the birth, adoption, or placement of a new child
  • to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or
  • for a qualifying exigency arising from a family member’s military service.

The New York State Paid Family Leave Law becomes effective on January 1, 2018. As stated, this law will allow employees to be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for certain qualifying reasons. The program is funded through employee payroll deductions. This program does not require employers to fund any portion of the benefits provided.

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board permits employers to collect weekly contributions for this program as of July 1, 2017. The New York Department of Financial Services along with the Superintendent of Financial Services set the maximum employee contribution to be provided by June 1, 2017 at 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage, not to exceed the 0.126% of the weekly average wage measured statewide. The statewide average weekly wage is $1,305.92. Therefore, the capped deduction would be $1.65 per week.

In addition, the definition of “wage” has been expanded to include tips or gratuity as part of an individuals weekly pay. For instance, an individual who has an occupation that customarily has tips as part of his or her wage is entitled to include such an amount. Previously, “wage” was defined to encompass only the reasonable value of housing or a stipulated money rate from an employer. Furthermore, “family member” is defined under the new law as child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or domestic partner. This definition is more expansive than even the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The maximum contribution amount will likely increase as of March 2018. The program is expected to be fully phased in by 2021 and will entitle eligible employees to receive up to 67% of their usual weekly wage or state average weekly wage. The program is designed to compliment the existing disability payments that a qualifying individual would be entitled to and not in place of ordinary disability payments.

If you have concerns regarding employment law issues, contact the New York employment law attorney Steven Mitchell Sack to protect your rights. Call Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” at (917) 371-8000 or email him at sms@StevenSack.com.

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