Beginning on January 1, 2018, private employers in New York state, and private employers outside of New York state with New York employees, will be required to comply with the New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Law.
While there are many facets to the new law, the  New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law  (the "PFL") requires employers with 1 or more employees to provide paid family leave benefits to " eligible employees " when such employees take leave for any of the following reasons:
  • To care for a close family member with a serious health condition; 
  • To bond with their newborn or newly placed adoptive or foster child; or
  • To attend to a qualifying exigency arising from a family member's military service.
eligible"Eligible employees" are:
  • Full-time employees who are scheduled to work 20 or more hours per week and have worked 26 consecutive weeks prior to the first full day of the PFL leave; or
  • Part-time employees who are scheduled to work less than 20 hours per week and have worked 175 days prior to the first full day of the PFL leave.
Covered employers will be required to provide:
  • Up to 8 weeks of paid family leave benefits in 2018
  • Up to 10 weeks of paid family leave benefits in 2019 and 2020
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid family leave benefits in 2021
Daily increments of leave are permissible under the PFL.

While the PFL'S January effective date may feel far off now, there are some important steps that covered employers should take to prepare for the new law.

  • NFC is offering comprehensive training for Human Resource professionals and other company representatives who are tasked with implementing the PFL. This training will help employers navigate the key components of the law and address complicated topics such as the interplay between the PFL and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • We are also here to assist you with required updates to your employee handbook and policies to include the PFL's benefits and obligations.
In addition, covered employers should immediately:
  1. Contact your disability carrier to confirm that the carrier is prepared to provide these new paid family leave benefits as required by law, and to discuss the amount and timing of employer premiums. PFL benefits will be funded through employee payroll deductions, and the regulations permit employers to commence such deductions as early as July 1, 2017 in order to pay the carrier's premiums.
  2. Contact your payroll administrator to coordinate the employee payroll deductions used to fund PFL benefits and to identify employees who should be given the option to file a waiver.
  3. Prepare for those employees who anticipate taking leave under the PFL in 2018 to bond with a child after adoption placement, foster care placement or birth, even if the placement or birth occurs in 2017. PFL benefits must be provided to  eligible employee during the first 52 weeks after the adoption placement, foster care placement or birth.
  4. Review the Final Regulations issued by the New York State Worker's Compensation Board, which contain detailed information about the PFL's eligibility, benefits and funding.
  5. Review the PFL website and FAQs.
For questions about the PFL, to schedule a training for your staff, or if you need assistance with required updates to your employee handbook and policies, please contact Katherin Nukk-Freeman
or the NFC attorney with whom you normally  work.

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