New York Paid Family Leave – Updates for 2021

November 9, 2020
Posted in Newsroom
November 9, 2020 Associated HCM

New York Paid Family Leave – Updates for 2021

New York State’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) law provides partial income replacement and job protection while workers are on leave for covered reasons. Employers are required to purchase a PFL insurance policy or self-insure.  In 2021, employees will be able to use up to 12 weeks of leave and receive up to 67% of their average weekly wage or 67% the SAWW.

Eligibility

  • All employees who work Full time (20+ hours weekly) for 26 weeks, or part time for 175 days, are eligible.
  • All employers with one or more employees are subject to the law.
  • Employees do not have to use accrued sick leave, vacation, or other paid time before using PFL.

Use

  • Employees may take PFL during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.
  • Employees may take PFL to care for a close relative with a serious health condition.
  • Employees may take PFL if they are eligible for time off under the military provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when a spouse, child, domestic partner, or parent of the employee is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order of active duty.
  • Employees may not use PFL for their own serious condition or qualifying military event.

Definitions

  • Close relatives include spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, parents in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren.
  • Serious health conditions include an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or continuing treatment or continuing supervisions by a health care provider.

Job Protection

  • Employers must hold an employee’s job for them while they are away on PFL, or reinstate them to a comparable position with the same or better pay, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment.
  • Employers must continue to provide the employee’s existing health benefits while on PFL.
  • Employees must continue to pay the usual portion of their health benefits premium while on PFL.
  • Employers may not discriminate or retaliate against employees in any way for using or asking to use their PFL, including discipline, reduced hours, or reduced pay or benefits.

Notice to Employees

  • Employers who provide a handbook with other benefit and leave information should include information about PFL in their handbook and ensure information is up-to-date.
  • If an employer does not have a handbook it must provide other written notice about PFL to employees. We recommend that all employers provide employees with the written notice produced by the state. Model language can be found here Model Language NY PFL . Employees statement of rights can be found here NY PFL Statement of Employee Rights.
  • Employers must display a poster regarding Paid Family Leave coverage in their place of business, similar to Workers’ Compensation or Disability Benefits coverage. Your insurance carrier will provide you with a notice to employees (Notice of Compliance) stating that you have Paid Family Leave insurance. The Notice will include information about your carrier. If you are self-insured, you can get this notice by contacting the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board at certificates@wcb.ny.gov.

The state is encouraging employers with questions to call the Paid Family Leave Helpline at 844-337-6303 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

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