Paid family leave is now a requirement for most New York employers, but it’s the employees who are going to be paying for it.
New York’s new family leave program that went into effect Jan. 1 provides job-protected, paid time off, and it covers three primary areas: time off to bond with a newly-born, adopted or fostered child; care for a close relative with a serious health condition; and to assist those with a family member who is deployed or on active military service.
Private employers who have one or more employees are now required to get paid family leave insurance through a state-approved insurance company, and employees will then have .126 percent of their weekly wage deducted from their paycheck. Employees are also bearing the cost of the premium, not their employer.
Employees can take up to eight weeks off, but they’ll only receive 50 percent of their average weekly wage. The insurance is capped at $650 per week and it is paid by the insurance, not the employer.
In order to be eligible for benefits, you must be a full-time employee working more than 20 hours per week, and you must have worked at your job for at least six months. Part-time workers are also eligible after working 175 days at their job.
You can continue your health insurance while on leave and you’re guaranteed the same or a comparable job after your leave ends. You do, however, need to continue to pay your portion of the health insurance premium while on leave.
To request paid family leave, you must notify your employer at least 30 days before your leave will start, obtain and complete the proper forms, and attach supporting documentation for the leave.
The paid family leave can be taken all at once or in full-day increments, with the maximum time off given within a 52 week time period. That time period starts on the first day of leave.
To learn more about New York’s paid family leave program, click here.