Summary of New York’s Paid Family Leave Mandate

By Laura Vankin, USI Associate Consultant 

What is New York Paid Family Leave?

  • Effective January 1, 2018, New York is mandating job-protected Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) for all employees working in New York State.
  • The rules regarding NY PFL are not yet finalized but the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board has published the proposed regulation (NYS Worker’s Comp Board Proposed Regs) (NYS Paid Family Leave Program).
  • The proposed regulation entitles eligible employees to a paid leave of absence and requires that employers reinstate employees to their position or a comparable position upon return from the leave.
  • NY PFL is available to employees regardless of employer size.
    • NY PFL enacts new family leave obligations upon employers in New York that are not currently covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
    • FMLA coverage requires an employer have 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius and that employees be employed by the employer for 12 months and have worked for at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12-month period to be eligible for leave.

What Events Qualify for NY PFL?

  • To care for a child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care within the first 12 months after the birth or placement;
  • To help employees manage family affairs when their family members are called to or on covered active duty (qualifying exigency); or
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Paid Family Leave is not available for an employee’s own serious health condition.

Who is Eligible for NY PFL?

  • Full-time Employees (“FTEs”) become eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of work; and
  • Part-time employees become eligible on the 175th day of work.

How Long is NY PFL?

  • By 2021 PFL will be available for a maximum of 12 weeks during any 52-week calendar period.
  • If an employee is eligible for both NY PFL and NY DBL (New York State Statutory Disability), the combined leave cannot exceed 26 weeks during any 52 consecutive calendar weeks.

Who Pays for PFL?

  • PFL benefit will be entirely funded by employee contribution through payroll deduction.
  • On June 1, 2017, and annually thereafter on September 1, New York will set the maximum employee contribution.
  • Employers can start, but are not required, to collect the weekly employee contribution on July 1, 2017.

How Much Is the Benefit (Time Off / Amount of Pay)?

  • Jan 1, 2018: up to 8 weeks / 50% of employee Average Weekly Wage (AWW), not to exceed 50% of Statewide AWW
  • Jan 1, 2019: up to 10 weeks / 55% of employee AWW, not to exceed 55% of Statewide AWW
  • Jan 1, 2020: up to 10 weeks / 60% of employee AWW, not to exceed 60% of Statewide AWW
  • Jan 1 each succeeding year: up to 12 weeks / 67% of employee AWW, not to exceed 67% of Statewide AWW

Stay tuned to USI Northeast for updates once the finalized NY PFL rules are issued.


Disclaimer: USI does not provide legal or tax advice. For advice specific to your situation, please consult an attorney or other professional.  This summary is intended to convey general information and is not an exhaustive analysis.

© 2015-2017 USI Insurance Services. All Rights Reserved.

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