Paid family leave (PFL) has been becoming more and more popular across the United States, with many employers voluntarily offering PFL programs. In a more recent development, some states are now beginning to require employers to offer PFL in some form. Beginning on January 1, 2018, many New York employers will be required to offer paid family leave (PFL) to certain employees. A New York employment lawyer can explain your rights and obligations under this program.
Which Employees Are Entitled to PFL?
Almost all employers will be required to provide PFL, and most employees will be eligible for PFL. For employees who work upwards of 20 hours per week, PFL must be made available to them after having worked at their current position for 26 weeks. Part-time employees who work less than 20 hours per week must first log 175 days of work before becoming eligible. Notably, even New York employees who work for out-of-state companies are eligible for PFL.
What Does PFL Cover?
The New York Paid Family Leave program covers three common reasons for requested leave, including:
- To care for a sick loved one;
- To care for and bond with a newly born or adopted child within 12 months of birth or placement; or
- To address a qualifying exigency dealing with a loved one who is in the United States Armed Services.
Covered employees who take PFL must be allowed to continue their health insurance, but employers will be permitted to collect health insurance premiums from employees. Additionally, any employee who takes PFL must have their same job, or a comparable job, upon their return.
Who Pays for PFL?
The PFL leave program will be funded by employee contributions through payroll deductions. Employers will be permitted to take deductions from employees’ payroll to cover the additional cost of PFL insurance. However, an employer will not be permitted to deduct more than the PFL insurance premium from employees’ payroll.
Employers have the option of self-insuring or obtaining PFL insurance. Many of the insurance companies that are currently offering disability leave insurance will offer employers the ability to secure a rider for the newly required PFL coverage.
Preparing for PFL
Employers should make sure that they are prepared in advance of the January 2018 start date. For starters, the law allows for employers to start taking employee deductions immediately to cover the anticipated costs of PFL insurance. Additionally, employers should update employee handbooks and training manuals to reflect the change in employee benefits.
Do You Have Questions About Employee Benefits?
If you are a New York business owner with questions about the New York Paid Family Leave policy or how it will affect your bottom line, or about other employee benefits, contact the dedicated New York business lawyers at the Law Offices of Ira S. Newman. Our firm has represented employers as well as employees in a wide range of New York business law issues, including issues involving employee benefits. Call 800-206-7375 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated New York business law attorney today.
See Additional Blog Posts:
New York Wage and Hour Lawsuit Nets $2M to Pizza Delivery Workers, New York Business Litigation Attorney Blog, May 5, 2015.
College Student: I Was Forced to Prosecute My Rapist Alone, New York Business Litigation Attorney Blog, April 30, 2015.