NYS FMLA Update   Employers Guide DOL Family Leave Act

Last month Governor Cuomo signed into law New York’s Paid Family Leave Act,that will require employers to provide paid family leave benefits to eligible employees as part of the state’s disability insurance program.The law exceeds federal FMLA of 50+ employees and will apply to all employees who are covered by the state’s temporary disability insurance law, regardless of their employer’s size, and who have been employed for 26 or more consecutive weeks.  In light of this news, New York employers and employers with employees in New York should review their existing family and medical leave policies.

Overview:

  • Timing: Beginning January 1st, 2018 Paid Family Leave benefits will be phased in over a four-year period. When the law is fully implemented in 2021, employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.
  • Funding: Unlike many of these other laws, the  NYS  Paid Family Leave benefits will be funded by employees’ payroll deductions through a ~$1 per employee weekly payroll deduction that will help fund a paid family leave program. No employer is required to contribute to or fund the paid family leave benefit. NYS will set the maximum employee contribution by June 1, 2017, and it will be updated annually thereafter, on September 1 of each year.
  • Notice: Employers will be required to post a notice about the law and provide written notice to certain employees.
  • Eligibility: An employee is eligible for paid family leave benefits if the employee works for a covered employer for 26 or more consecutive weeks. Covered employers include those that have one or more employees employed in New York on each of at least 30 days in any calendar year.
Effective DateMax. length of paid leavePayable % of the employee’s average weekly wageTo the max % of NY average weekly wage
01/01/20188 weeks50%50%
01/01/201910 weeks55%55%
01/01/202010 weeks60%60%
01/01/202112 weeks67%67%

The opposition to the law fear that employers will end up with higher expenses in overtime and training for employees who will cover for their co-workers on leave. Businesses also are rightly concerned about how much control they’ll have over employees taking leave under these state administered programs.

How does this relate to NYS DBL?  Paid Family Leave (PFL) will be covered  under the employers DBL.  DBL and PFL benefits cannot be collected at the same time. Combined, DBL and PFL have to stay within the 26-week benefit max during any 52 consecutive calendar weeks.

I hope that you find this brief overview helpful. To download a copy of the federal law click here –  FMLA Employer Guide.   For additional details on this law, including a review of existing DBL policies please contact us at 855-667-4621 or email us a policy copy for immediate review.