Have you heard about New York’s Paid Family Leave policy?
If not, don’t panic. You’re definitely not alone. In fact, this new law only recently went into effect. In short, it mandates 8 weeks of job-protected, paid leave for family related issues. (The number of weeks will increase to 10 weeks in 2019 and 12 weeks in 2021.)
Since this is something that will probably affect you (or one of your employees) at some point or another, we’ve put together some basic facts about new policy and what it may mean for you—as an employee and as an employer.
What is Paid Family Leave?
This New York employee-paid benefit will mandate up to 12 weeks (8 weeks in 2018), each year, of job-protected paid leave for family-related issues, which include:
- Bonding with a newborn, adopted or foster care child during the first 12 months after birth or placement
- Caring for a seriously ill family member
- Addressing important needs related to a family member’s military service
As of this past July, employers may start taking off money from employees' paychecks to pay for Paid Family Leave insurance. Benefits to employees will start January 2018.
Quick Facts for Employees
How much money will be removed from my paycheck? Currently, 0.126% will be taken off your weekly pay. The maximum that will be taken off your paycheck is $1.65 per week.
Do I need to take all 8 weeks at once? No. PFL can be taken in increments of as little as one day.
How much notice do I have to give before taking off? You should give 30 days advance notice, when possible.
May I use my sick or vacation days together with PFL so I get full pay? Yes, you may use sick or vacation days for part of your time off so that you get full pay for those days off.
How will I get paid? You’ll be required to submit a claim form to the insurance company, who will be required to send you payment within 18 days.
Quick Facts for Employers
Will it cost me anything? The benefit will be funded from employees’ paychecks, so it won’t cost you anything. Paid Family Leave (PFL) will be covered under your existing Disability insurance policy.
How much time off is mandated? The maximum for PFL in 2018 is 8 weeks. Note however, that employees may take time off for Disability and PFL, i.e. one after the other.
Are part-time workers eligible?Part-time employees (less than 20 hrs/wk) are eligible after working for 175 days. Full-time employees (more than 20 hrs/wk) are eligible after working for you for 26 consecutive weeks.
Can I refuse to give PFL? While you cannot refuse to give time off for PFL, you don’t need to allow two workers to take off to care for the same person (e.g. if you employ husband and wife you don’t have to let them take off at the same time for the same baby).
We know this is all new. As always, we’re here to help you navigate the complex insurance maze and make sure all your questions are answered.
Want more info on Paid Family Leave? Need to purchase a disability policy? Just give us a call at (845) 356-5656, or send us an email.
You can also find more info about Paid Family Leave here.