Starting on January 1, 2018, it will be mandatory for employers in New York to allow employees to take paid family leave. With less than a month left in 2017, its requirements have already been implemented by most employers and if your company has not yet begun the process you’re behind.  Not to worry though we’re here to help.

Read on to see how Paid Family Leave (PFL) obligates employers and what the provisions are for employees.

What is Covered Under PFL

The NY Paid Family Leave Act requires employers to provide job-protected paid family leave of up to 12 weeks to eligible employees. An employee can take a leave for the purposes of: Paid Family Leave

  • Bonding with his/her newborn, foster child or a newly-placed adopted child during the first 12 months of birth or placement
  • Caring for a family member (e.g. a domestic partner, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent or child) with a serious health condition
  • Addressing an exigency related to a parent, child, domestic partner or spouse that is currently serving in the military

Employers will fund the PFL coverage through payroll deductions.

When Paid Family Leave (PFL) is fully enacted, it will be mandatory for employers to offer eligible workers income replacement of up to 2/3 of the average weekly salary in New York.

PFL does not cover all employees. Eligibility is determined based on where your employees work. Eligible employees are those whose tasks are performed in New York for thirty or more days in a calendar year. Employees that live in New York but work from home are also eligible for PFL even if their employers are from other states.

Employee Eligibility for PFL Coverage

It is critical to sign up for PFL insurance before January, 1 2018, when it fully comes into effect. All employers need to be aware of this, this will be your responsibility. A few tips:

  • If you have a disability leave insurance (DBL) policy, inquire with your carrier whether you need a rider for PFL coverage.
  • If your current carrier does not offer PFL insurance, find a new carrier.
  • To secure PFL coverage, you have to provide your payroll information to the carrier. This will enable the carrier to determine the premium you should pay and the billing schedule.
  • You have to pay PFL and DBL premiums together. In many cases, DBL contracts are paid annually in advance.
  • Therefore, both PFL and DBL benefits will have to be paid upfront. However, you will gradually recoup the PFL portion through payroll deductions over the course of the year.

Employers that are not required to provide PFL coverage can offer voluntary coverage by filling these forms.

Employers’ Obligations on Employee PFL Rights

Employers should proactively educate employees about PFL and its benefits. This can be done by displaying posters regarding PFL coverage in the workplace and updating the employment handbook by January 1, 2018 with the new information. Employers with no handbooks should provide employees with written guidance on their right to take PFL.

If you have questions regarding the NY Paid Family Leave Act, please call or email the Paypro team at
631-777-1100 or [email protected]

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