New York Paid Family Leave Act

There is some serious legislation set to hit the state on January 1, 2018. New York has been on a roll this year with passing some major bills lately that will be affecting the workforce as we know it.  Throughout the nation, several states such as California, New Jersey and Rhode Island have a paid family leave policy in place. Washington and D.C. have enacted the law, but it will be effective in the near future.

As a human resources professional, it is my duty to inform you of your rights to prepare you for the workforce you are currently in or will be joining soon. Here is what you need to know about the New York State Paid Family Leave Act.

Who is covered

-          Employees working 20 hours a more a week for 26 consecutive weeks or 20 hours or less for 175 days

Reasons for leave

-          Bonding with a new child within the first year if birth, adoption or foster care placement

-          Provide physical or psychological care for a loved one. This includes parents, parent in laws, spouse, domestic partner, child, grandparents and grandchildren.

-          If your spouse, domestic partner or child is serving on active military duty and is required to leave.

How Long

-          As of January 1, 2018 employees will be granted up to 8 weeks of time off in a calendar year. By 2021 employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of time off.

Money Talk

-          If you’re eligible for this leave, you will be given 50% of your average weekly wage or state average weekly wage (whichever is less). Currently the state average weekly wage is $1,305.92, so 50% would be $652.96.

-          This policy is EMPLOYEE funded which means you can expect to see an extra deduction of about $2 to your check.

What Now?

-          As early as July 1st, employers are allowed to take deductions for this benefit. I suggest you check your paystubs to see if your employer has started already

When first introduced, this law received a lot of scrutiny for lack of clear definitions and possible loops holes. The final regulations have been released recently but certain questions and concerns still remain unanswered. No law is perfect and there is already a future problem ahead for all my fellow HR professionals. Don’t be surprised if you receive your first claim on January 1st. As long as the birth or placement of the child is within 12 months, employees qualify for the leave. I expect this to be a headache for HR departments all over. Nearly all businesses within the state will be required to abide by this law. For employers, below you will find an in depth breakdown of the law.

New York Paid Family Leave