If you’re a New York City employer, you’re well aware of the implementation of the New York State Paid Family Leave Law which took effect on January 1, 2018. As the nation’s strongest family leave plan, employees are currently entitled to 8 weeks of job-protected paid time off when certain life events occur.
However, benefits are set to increase in 2019. Here’s what to know:
- Starting January 1, 2019, employees will be entitled to 10 weeks of Paid Family Leave (this will increase to 12 weeks by 2021)
- Currently, employees who take Paid Family Leave receive 50% of their average weekly wage, capped at the New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) – however, when benefits are fully phased in by 2021, employees will receive 67% of their average weekly wage
- The percentages increase every January 1, however, the exact percentage has not been announced for 2019 yet
Eligibility rules aren’t changing — full-time employees (who have worked 26 consecutive weeks) and part-time employees (who work less than 20 hours per week and have worked a total of 175 days) are eligible to take Paid Family Leave.
Employees can take Paid Family Leave to bond with newly born, adopted, or fostered children, care for family members with serious illness, or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.
Before the changes take effect, you should inform your employees about the new regulations, such as through distribution of updated employee handbooks that discuss your company’s Paid Family Leave benefits, which should be adjusted pursuant to the regulations.