New York State Passes 12-Week Paid Family Leave Law
By Admin |04-29-2016 11:25
The nations’ longest and most comprehensive paid family leave policy has recently passed in New York. On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation adopting the 12-week Paid Leave Law for New York State employees. The Paid Leave Law will provide employees with up to twelve weeks of paid family leave for purposes of caring for a new child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or relieving family pressures when a family member is called to active military service.
Employees are required to have worked for their employer for a minimum of six months to be eligible for the paid leave benefit. Unlike NYS Disability where there is a waiting period before employees begin to receive benefits, Paid Family Leave will be available the first full day the leave is required for eligible employees. At the federal level, the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees unpaid leave of 12 weeks, but nearly half of workers are not covered; companies that employ fewer than 50 people or employees that work part time are not bound by this law.
Always the big question when a new policy is passed: Who’s going to pay for it? New York workers will initially have $0.70 per week deducted from their paychecks. This amount may increase nearer to $1.00 as the policy plays out. This will aid employers as they will not be directly funding paid leave benefits. However, employers should note that internal policies will inadvertently change in relation to employee absences.
The paid family leave policy will be implemented gradually over a four year period. Beginning January 1, 2018, employees will be eligible for eight weeks of paid leave, in which they will earn 50% of their weekly pay (capped at 50% of the statewide average weekly pay). Amount paid and weeks of leave will increase until 2021, upon which employees will be eligible for twelve weeks of paid leave, earning 67% of their weekly pay (capped at 67% of the statewide average weekly pay).
Paid leave care for a new child, including an adoptive or foster child, is available for both men and women. This time can be taken any time within the first twelve months of the child’s birth, or twelve months after the placement or adoption. Leave care for a family member includes that for a child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, spouse, or domestic partner.