New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

There are 3 main categories of qualifying events for which employees can take paid leave:

1) To provide care for a family member with a severe/chronic medical condition

  2) To bond with a child after birth, adoption, or to welcome a child into foster care

  3) To cope with a military exigency leave event. 

How do employees get coverage?  For existing customers with NYS DBL coverage, all employees covered by DBL will automatically be enrolled in NY PFL coverage effective January 1, 2018.  The PFL rider will be automatically added to NYS DBL policies in effect in 2018.  If you have disability coverage through our agency, you are covered. 

Who pays for Paid Family Leave?  New York's Paid Family Leave is entirely employee-funded.  That is, the benefit is paid for by employees.  Employers are welcome to provide this benefit fully paid to employees, but are not required by NYS to do so. 

Do I have to participate in the Paid Family Leave program?  Yes, PFL is not optional for employers/employees.  The exception is if you are in a job that will not allow you to attain the 26 continuous weeks or 175 consecutive days needed to qualify for PFL (for example a seasonal worker).

What billing frequencies are available to employers?  The billing frequency of PFL must match the billing frequency of DBL.  Because PFL premium is paid by employees, employers who currently pay annually and in-advance are encouraged to switch to quarterly and in-arrears. 

Benefit Stage

Effective Date

Maximum Length of Paid Leave

Maximum Benefit Amount

Payable % of Employee’s Average Weekly Wage

To the Maximum % of NYS Average Weekly Wage

$ Max based on 2017 NYS AWW of $1,305.92

01/01/2018

8 weeks

50%

50%

$653

01/01/2019

10 weeks

55%

55%

$718

01/01/2020

10 weeks

60%

60%

$784

01/01/2020

12 weeks

67%

67%

$875

FAQs

How is job protection defined for NY PFL?  Job protection is defined as returning an employee to the same or a comparable job upon return from leave. NY PFL provides job protection to all eligible employees working in New York that are covered under Paid Family Leave, up to the maximum number of weeks allowed under the law in any given consecutive 52 week period from the first day of their PFL.  Employees are also guaranteed continuation of health insurance while out on Paid Family Leave. The employer must also continue any premium contributions towards health insurance that were being made before the employee took PFL.

Is there a maximum combined benefit for DBL & PFL?  Yes, DBL and PFL, when combined, cannot exceed 26 weeks in any 52 consecutive calendar weeks. For example, if an employee takes 20 weeks of DBL at the beginning of the year, he or she will only have 6 weeks of available PFL during that 52 week period. The 52 week look back begins on the1st day of PFL taken. Conversely, if an employee takes 8 weeks of Paid Leave at the beginning of the year, he or she will only have 18 weeks of DBL remaining.  Keep in mind PFL cannot be taken for your own medical condition/disability. You must utilize your NYS DBL policy for that type of leave. PFL can be taken intermittently (such as every Monday & Friday), unlike DBL which must be used consecutively during your requested leave.

Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave to take care of an eligible relative living outside of NYS?  Yes, as long as you are caring for an eligible family member, and provide the medical certification. 

I am not a U.S. citizen.  Will I still be eligible for Paid Family Leave?  Yes.  Your citizenship status has no impact on your Paid Family Leave eligibility. 

Is there a "waiting period" for Paid Family Leave?  No, there is no waiting period.  Claim payments will begin back to the first day of your leave request, so long as your leave has been approved by the carrier. 

Do I need to provide notice to my employer to be able to use Paid Family Leave?  An employee must provide their employer with at least 30 days advance notice before the planned paid leave if the qualifying event is foreseeable. If a 30-day advance notice is not practicable (due to, for example, lack of knowledge, a change in circumstances, a medical emergency, or short-notice deployment), notice must be given as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the qualifying event, ideally within the time required by your usual and customary notice internal policy. As soon as “possible and practical,” taking into account all of the facts and circumstances in the individual case. When an employee becomes aware of a qualifying event less than 30 days in advance, it should be practicable for the employee to provide notice of the need for leave either the same day or the next business day.

Do FMLA and NY PFL run concurrently?  Yes, both leaves must be taken at the same time for an employer subject to FMLA (50 or more lives).

Will I have to take all of my sick time and/or vacation before I use Paid Family Leave?  An employer may permit you to use vacation or sick leave for full salary. An employer cannot require an employee to exhaust their PTO/Vacation time before going out on PFL, unless the employee will be going out on an approved FMLA leave (FMLA is only subject to employers with more than 50 employees).

Can I take PFL and use my sick and/or vacation time together so that I receive my full salary?  Yes, if your employer allows you to use your sick and vacation time to allow you to receive your full salary, than you can do so. 

Will my spouse and I be able to use PFL at the same time? If you and your spouse have different employers, you are both eligible to take Paid Family Leave at the same time.  However, if you and your spouse work for the same employer, they can deny Paid Family Leave to more than one employee at the same time to care for the same family leave recipient, or to bond with a child.

What forms of wages count towards the PFL calculation?  All reported wages including commissions, bonuses, overtime, tips, etc. 

To calculate the average weekly wage for an employee in order to determine what benefit amount they can expect, look to the previous 8 weeks with the same employer that has been collecting the employee’s PFL contribution (or if less than 8 weeks with that employer, the portion thereof): 

  1.     Add up total wages from all 8 weeks (or portion) immediately preceding paid family leave

a.     To the last day worked prior to the first day of paid family leave; or

b.     excluding the week in which the paid family leave began, whichever is the higher amount will be used for PFL benefit calculation purposes

c.     Employee weekly deduction calculation is .126% of their average weekly wage

 

Posted 9:48 AM

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