As of January 1, 2018, employees in New York will be entitled to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for an infant (first year after adoption or birth) or for a family member (child, parent or grandparent) with a serious health condition, or to relieve family pressures when someone (spouse, child, domestic partner or parent) is called to active military service. Recently, proposed regulations were released regarding employee rights, eligibility, coverage, phase-in schedule and other information.
Employees using NYS paid family leave will initially receive 50% of their average weekly wage with a cap at 50% of the statewide average weekly wage. Gradually, those amounts will rise until 2021, when employees will receive 67% of their average weekly wage, with a cap at 50% of the statewide average weekly wage. Employees will be entitled to return to their job at the end of the leave, and their health insurance continues throughout the leave.
Employees become eligible for the leave after 26 weeks of full-time employment (or 175 days of part-time work). Interestingly, non-citizens are equally entitled to paid family medical leave. Documentation of the birth or adoption or of the serious health condition is required.
The disability insurance that employers are required to have will also cover paid family leave, and employee payroll deductions will begin in July 2017 to fund the program.
Comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until April 7, 2017 at www.surveymonkey.com/r/PFL_Reg_Comments. The NYS paid family leave website is www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-paid-family-leave. Please contact Paul Keneally, Jennifer Shoemaker or Alina Nadir if you have any questions.