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New York State Paid Family Leave Coverage Requirements

New York State will require nearly all New York Employers to secure Paid Family Leave insurance coverage for employees as of January 1, 2018. Certain benefits may be retroactive to 2017.

Which Employers are Covered? Nearly all. The law applies to employers that have employed as few as one individual for 30 consecutive days.

Who Is Eligible for Coverage? Employees with a regular work schedule of 20+ hours per week are eligible for benefits under the Act after 26 weeks of employment, and those with a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after 175 days worked.

When May an Employee Request Paid Family Leave?

  • Maternity & Paternity Leave: A parent may take Paid Family Leave during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child.
  • Family Care: Where an employee’s family member (spouse, domestic partner, children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren) has a serious health condition.
  • Military Service: Where the spouse, child, domestic partner or parent of the employee is on active military duty abroad or has been notified of an impending call or order of active military duty abroad.

What are the Benefits?

  • 8 weeks of paid leave at 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage, or up to 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage. Benefits increase incrementally to 12 weeks and 67% annually from 2018-2021.
  • Job protection upon return from Paid Family Leave; and
  • Continuation of health insurance while out on Paid Family Leave.

How is Coverage Provided? Paid Family Leave coverage will be added to the employer’s disability insurance policy and funded through employee payroll contributions.

What are the Employee Requirements? Where possible, the employee must provide at least 30 days’ notice of their intention to use Paid Family Leave and provide appropriate documentation to the insurance carrier. Where they are unable to provide 30 days’ notice, they must provide notice as soon as practical.

Are there Posting Requirements? Yes. Employers are required to display a poster in their place of business, supplied by the insurance carrier, similar to those required for Worker’s Compensation.

What else should I know? As with any new legislation there are many nuances to this new law which cannot be captured in this Client Alert. E.g., there are special considerations for public employers, labor unions, out-of-state employers, and not-for-profit and religious organizations. Consult with an attorney experienced in this area of practice with specific questions. Contact Katherine E. Lewis at (646) 539-3730 | kel@msf-law.com.