08 Aug NYS Paid Family Leave Benefits for Employees Effective 01/01/2018
Governor Cuomo announced final regulations implementing New York’s nation-leading Paid Family Leave (PFL) program. The state’s PFL program will provide New Yorkers with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is deployed abroad on active military service.
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has issued a letter to all private employers in New York State regarding their responsibilities under the new law. The Board has also created a fact sheet for employers with additional details.
Changes to Your Disability Benefits Policy
NYSIF notified disability benefits (DB) policyholders in April that PFL will be added to DB policies effective January 1, 2018. Nearly all employees of NYSIF DB policyholders will be automatically covered for PFL under their NYSIF DB policies.
PFL will be funded through employee payroll deductions. As an employer, you are responsible for collecting the appropriate PFL contributions to cover the cost of the program. Employer may begin employee payroll deductions for PFL as of July 1, 2017.
The Department of Financial Services has set the rate for PFL at 0.126% of the employee’s weekly wage, not to exceed 0.126% of the current New York State average weekly wage (AWW) of $1,305.92.
NYSIF will distribute an employer census later this summer that must be completed for NYSIF to estimate premium for the paid family leave portion of the disability benefits policy. NYSIF will send a bill for the estimated PFL premium, which will be payable later this year.
Employees with a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 weeks of employment. Employees with a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after 175 days worked. The benefits of this program initially offer up to 8 weeks of paid leave at 50% of the employee’s AWW, up to the maximum benefit of 50% of the New York State AWW. The program will be fully implemented on January 1, 2021, and will offer up to 12 weeks paid leave at 67% of the employee’s average weekly wages, up to the maximum benefit of 67% of the New York State AWW.