New York Paid Family Leave ("PFL") took effect on January 1, 2018. It is considered the most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy in the country. New York employers under this policy are those with one or more employees working on each of at least 30 days in any calendar year. Eligible employees will receive paid family leave to care for a qualified person. Full-time employees working in New York will be eligible for the benefit after they have worked for their current employer for 26 consecutive weeks and part-time employees will become eligible on the 175th nonconsecutive day worked.
The final regulations for Paid Family Leave brought some clarification to the law:
• Employees who are eligible for both disability benefits and PFL during the same period of 52 consecutive calendar weeks shall not receive more than 26 total weeks of disability and PFL benefits during that period of time.
• The final regulations define "full-time" employees as those working 20 or more hours per week, and "part-time" employees as those working fewer than 20 hours per week for purposes of this law.
• Use of accrued time off, whether vacation, sick, personal or PTO does count towards the 26 weeks worked.
• Weekly benefits are calculated using the employee’s average weekly wage for the eight-week period immediately preceding the first day of leave.
• Daily increments are calculated based on the employee’s average weekly wage divided by the average number of days regularly worked per week.
• While an employer cannot require use of accrued time off when PFL does not run concurrently with FMLA, it can require use of accrued time off when PFL does run concurrently with FMLA.
Forms for Applying for Paid Family Leave
- The PFL-1 is completed by all employees applying under the law and is then attached to specific forms (PFL-2, 3, 4 or 5), dependent on the type of leave requested.
- Request bonding leave: Use Form PFL-2
- Request leave for a family member’s serious health condition: Use Form PFL-3 and PFL-4
- Request leave for a military qualifying event under the Family and Medical Leave Act: Use Form PFL-5
Employers must offer waivers to individuals who do not meet eligibility under the law (e.g. because their employment is scheduled to be less than 26 consecutive weeks, or they will not work 175 days in a 52-week period).
- Official Waiver Form issued by NYS (Employee Opt-Out of Paid Family Leave Benefits)
On June 1, 2017, the NYS Superintendent of Financial Services set the maximum employee contribution rate at 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage up to but not exceeding $1.65 a week or the equivalent of 0.126% of the current state average weekly wage, currently $1,305.92. The state average weekly wage will be reassessed annually and is generally made available to the public on or after March 31st.
Employers who wish to provide an optional notice to employees regarding the deduction can use the template from the state: Employee Notice of Paid Family Leave Payroll Deduction
Policies Handbook and Poster
- Employers must provide written guidance regarding this law even if they do not maintain a handbook, including an acknowledgement of receipt.
- Employers also are required to post an employee notice. An employer's insurance carrier will provide the notice (Form PFL-120) stating that the employer has Paid Family Leave insurance.
- If an employer is self-insured, they can obtain this notice by contacting the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board at email@example.com.