PAID FAMILY LEAVE in New York (Effective January 1st!)
New York Paid Family Leave
Special Update: New York has enacted a paid family leave policy, to be phased into effect beginning on or after January I, 2018, that will apply to employers of all business sizes. When the law is fully phased-in over the next several years, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave when certain life events occur.
Employee Eligibility Requirements
Under the new law, employees are generally eligible for paid family leave benefits after having worked for their employers for 26 or more consecutive weeks. "Family leave" is defined as leave taken by an employee from work:
• To participate in providing care, including physical or psychological care, for a family member (including a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, or domestic partner) with a serious health condition.
• To bond after the birth or adoption of a child (including foster children, the children of a domestic partner, and stepchildren); or
• Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent is on active military duty.
Amount of Leave
In general, the weekly benefit for family leave will be phased in as follows:
• On or after January 1, 2018, eligible employees will be entitled to 8 weeks of family leave at 50% of an employee's average weekly wage (capped at 50% of the state average weekly wage);
• On or after January 1, 2019, eligible employees will be entitled to 10 weeks of family leave at 55% of an employee's average weekly wage (capped at 55% of the state average weekly wage);
• On or after January 1, 2020, eligible employees will be entitled to 10 weeks of family leave at 60% of an employee's average weekly wage (capped at 60% of the state average weekly wage); and
• On or after January 1 of each succeeding year, eligible employees will be entitled to 12 weeks of family leave at 67% of an employee's average weekly wage (capped at 67% of the state average weekly wage).
During any period of family leave, employers are required to maintain any existing health benefits of eligible employees in force for the duration of such leave.
Leave for Adoption
New York law requires private employers who permit employees to take a leave of absence for the birth of a child to grant the same leave (on the same terms) to employees for the adoption of a child. However, such employee is not entitled to equal child care leave at any time after the adoptive child reaches the minimum age for public school attendance, unless the adopted child is a hard-to-place or handicapped child under the age of 18 (as determined pursuant to state law).