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Everything You Need to Know about New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)

A New York father raises his infant son in the air

New York families rejoice! New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)’s effective date of January 1, 2018 is rapidly approaching. That’s why we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about this new legislation, as well as how Presagia will manage this type of leave.

Stick with us as we fill you in on the details, including who is eligible for leave under NY Paid Family Leave, what the qualifying reasons to take the leave are, and how the plan will roll out over the next four years.

An Overview of New York Paid Family Leave 

NY PFL was designed in an effort to offer broad paid family leave benefits to employees of the state, utilizing New York’s existing Disability Benefits Law.

The policy will be funded through employee payroll deductions, with the option for employers to contribute, though that is not required. Additionally, the amount that the employee will be compensated for their paid leave, and the time they are entitled to take, will roll out over a 4-year period as follows:

  • 2018: 8 weeks of leave, at 50% of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 50% of state’s average weekly wage)
  • 2019: 10 weeks of leave, at 55% of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 55% of state’s average weekly wage)
  • 2020: 10 weeks of leave, at 60% of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 60% of state’s average weekly wage)
  • 2021: 12 weeks of leave, at 67% of of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 67% of state’s average weekly wage)

Who Is Eligible?

Under the new policy, full time employees who have been employed for 26 weeks before the application date are eligible. For part-time employees, they must have been employed for 175 days prior, to be eligible.

There are also particular cases in which individuals are not eligible for New York Paid Family Leave, including the following cases:

  • Employees who do not work within New York State
  • Employees who receive the full disability options under New York Workers’ Compensation, or through Volunteer Firefighter/Ambulance Workers’ benefits
  • 1099 Contractors
  • Employees that are on administrative leave from their place of employment
  • Employees who are currently receiving sick pay or PTO from their employer

What Are Acceptable Uses of New York Paid Family Leave? 

A New York mother takes maternity leave with her newborn baby

The new policy is similar to many of its kind in terms of what reasons the person is able to claim the leave for. There are generally 3 acceptable reasons to take NY PFL:

  1. For the provision of care (whether physical or psychological) to family members that are suffering from a serious health condition
  2. For bonding with a newborn child, or placement of an adopted or foster child, during their first year
  3. For an FMLA-qualifying reason that arises from the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent being on active military duty, or being notified of an impending call to duty

What Are the Next Steps Employers Should Take? 

With the effective date of the leave legislation looming, there are key next steps you should be taking to prepare for the change. Here’s what to do:

  1. Determine how you will be obtaining PFL coverage, whether that be through your insurance carrier or by self-insuring. Take note that if you are an employer that has a New York Disability Benefit Law (NY DBL) insurance policy, you will automatically have NY PFL included as of the effective date of January 1, 2018.
  2. Take a look at the current leave policies that you’re currently managing within your company, in order to see if this new benefit will impact or change any of the policies you currently implement.
  3. Take a look at the notice requirements for NY PFL, and ensure that you are prepared to implement those in order to maximize compliance.
  4. Inform your employees of the new policy, and update any written materials such as your employee handbook to reflect it.

These are just a few of the next steps you should be taking. We highly recommend that you take a look at the NY PFL Employer Checklist to ensure you are following each step you need to take to prepare.

How Presagia Will Manage NY PFL 

Employer utilizing Presagia for leave management

Presagia is very excited to announce that we will be supporting the ‘leave’ portion of NY PFL. What do we mean by this?

A program like NY PFL has two portions: the ‘leave’ portion and the ‘pay’ portion. A policy like this gets tricky, as it includes the caveat that it can be supplemented or superseded by the company itself in terms of the amount of compensation the individual on leave is provided with.

With that, Presagia will implement a policy solution to allow for the management of NY PFL’s leave portion. Meaning, Presagia will help with:

    • Utilizing the employee’s profile and leave request data to determine when the policy is applicable
    • Running the calculations to determining eligibility
    • Communicating some information pertaining to NY PFL  
  • To our current clients: rest assured! We will be providing you with a fact sheet soon which outlines this key information.
  • Assisting with the process of requesting supporting documentation
  • Tracking and monitoring leave entitlement usage under the policy.

Presagia continues to manage the leave elements of these programs while allowing employers to manage pay processing with their existing payroll vendors.

RESOURCES:

  1. New York Paid Family Leave, Weekly Deduction Calculator
  2. New York Paid Family Leave, Employee Fact Sheet
  3. New York Paid Family Leave, Employer Checklist

This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Readers should consult legal counsel to discuss how these matters impact and relate to their individual circumstances.

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