New York State Paid Family Leave Act
The federal FMLA already provides unpaid leave, but beginning January 1, 2019, if you work for a private employer in New York State, and you have worked 26 consecutive weeks as a full-time employee, or 175 days as a part-time employee, you may be eligible for Paid Family Leave. The new law is the most inclusive paid family leave in the United States, covering new parents, family caregivers and military families with active duty deployment. The law covers employees in the private sector in many industries, including some part-time workers. A private employer is an employer who is not the state or federal government, political subdivision of the state or other public authority. If you are self-employed, you can opt in to coverage.
Under the new law, you can get paid time off for the following reasons:
- to bond with a newly-born, adopted or foster child;
- to care for a close relative with a serious health condition; or
- to assist when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.
You will also have full job protection. This means you do not have to worry about keeping your job when you need to take time off for one of the above reasons, because you are entitled to your job (or a comparable job) when you are able to return to work. In addition, your health insurance coverage will continue while you are on paid leave, but you will be responsible for any premium payments you regularly make.
For 2019, you are allowed to take up to 10 weeks of Paid Family Leave and you will receive 55% of your average weekly wage. The maximum amount, however, is capped at 55% of the State Average Weekly Wage, or $746.41. Unfortunately, the payroll deduction from your wages also increases to 0.153% of your payroll up to a cap of $107.97 per year. Each year thereafter, until 2021, the percentage of your weekly wage and the number of weeks of leave time increases. By 2021, you will be entitled to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave and can receive up to 67% of your average weekly wage. See the below chart for details. You can take your Paid Family Leave all at one time or you can take it one day at a time, as needed.
|Year||Weeks of Leave||Benefit|
|2019||10 weeks||55% of employee's average weekly wage, up to 55% of statewide average weekly wage|
|2020||10 weeks||60% of employee's average weekly wage, up to 60% of statewide average weekly wage|
|2021||12 weeks||67% of employee's average weekly wage, up to 67% of statewide average weekly wage|
Legal Editor: Albert Rizzo, January 2018 (updated January 2019)
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.