As New York State employers continue to manage their first year of paid family leave (PFL) benefits available to employees in 2018 (8 weeks maximum), comments and predictions about what the Legislature might do for 2019 have emerged. As expected, we have heard that the disability insurers who pay out the PFL benefits to eligible employees are indicating that the current amount withheld from employees’ pay to cover PFL benefits is insufficient.
Accordingly, and given that the PFL maximum becomes 10 weeks in 2019, the Legislature is considering whether to increase the amount withheld from employees’ pay for PFL in 2019. Moreover, commentators expect that the Legislature will also mandate that employers start to pay a percentage of the cost of PFL benefits. While expected to begin modestly, the cost to employers for PFL would likely increase in subsequent years, beginning in 2020 when PFL benefits go to 12 weeks and when, as predicted, employees increase their use of PFL as more of them become aware of it and its details.
Employers interested in weighing in on the issue of PFL, or any other employment law legislation, should contact us for assistance.