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What is Paid Family Leave (PFL)?
PFL pays a part of an employee's income while they're out of work. It covers bonding with a new child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, and other events related to a family member's active-duty military status.
Regulations from the New York Department of Financial Services and the Worker's Compensation Board are now final (to review them, please see the link at the bottom of this section.
Who is eligible for PFL?
Nearly every full-time and part-time private employee working in New York will be eligible for PFL coverage. A public employee (e.g., employees of a municipality) may receive coverage if their employer opts to include them in the program, or if they are part of a union and PFL is collectively bargained.
A full-time employee (defined as working 20 or more hours per week) must be working for their employer for 26 weeks, while a part-time employee (less than 20 hours per week) must have worked 175 days to be eligible for PFL benefits. Employees will contribute to the cost during their eligibility period (26 weeks/175 days).
How is it different from DBL or FMLA?
DBL and other disability benefits only pay during the employee's own disability. PFL pays benefits to employees while they take time off from work to bond with a new child, or care for a seriously ill family member, or for specific events related to a family member's active-duty military status. Unlike DBL, PFL provides job protection and requirements for continuation of health benefits. DBL and PFL both apply to all private employers with employees working in the State of New York.
FMLA is an unpaid, job and benefit-protected leave of absence with specific eligibility requirements and covered reasons for leave. Employers must have at least 50 employees to be subject to the FMLA. FMLA will run concurrently with both DBL and PFL when all requirements are met.
When does PFL take effect?
The PFL program is effective January 1, 2018.
Not only is the law effective, but employees will be able to file claims, as well. If the eligibility requirements outlined above are met, employees can claim PFL benefits as of 1/1/18 if they have a qualifying event.
How much will PFL cost?
Employees will contribute .126% of their weekly wages to the PFL program.
- For someone who makes $35,000 a year, the weekly cost would be about $.84 a week, or $44 annually. This will be collected from employees by payroll deduction, similar to how other employee benefit premiums are paid.
- For someone who makes $50,000 a year, the weekly cost would be about $1.21 a week, or $36 annually.
- For someone who makes $67,907 (annual wages covered by the maximum benefit) or more, the weekly cost would be about $1.65 a week. The maximum annual contribution an employee can make is $85.56.
How much will PFL pay?
In 2018, PFL will cover 50% of an employee's weekly income, up to 50% of the statewide average weekly wage (the statewide average weekly wage as of July 1, 2017 will be $1,305.92). The benefit amount will increase annually, and by 2021 PFL will cover 67% of the statewide average weekly wage.