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Teachers and Clergy: Excluded from NY Paid Family Leave?

PFL Tips for Teachers.

Private, for-profit business? Yes, teachers are covered.

Non-profit or public school? No, teachers aren't covered.

Does NY Paid Family Leave apply to teachers and clergy? What about voluntary coverage? You don’t need a Ph.D. to figure out who to cover. Here’s a quick course on how PFL rules apply to private schools and religious organizations.

The same regulations apply as for DBL. Paid Family Leave is a rider on the DBL policy. It applies to any entity currently considered a covered employer under DBL. That includes private-sector organizations with at least one employee who works in New York for at least 30 days in a year.

DBL-exempt employers are exempt from PFL. But they can choose to provide voluntary coverage.

Exempt private employers who have already opted in to provide DBL must also provide PFL now.

Covered employers may have workers in excluded classes or occupations. Employee classes excluded from DBL are also excluded from PFL. One exception occurs when the private employer has already extended DBL to a class of employees. Then the employer must also extend PFL to the same class of employees — as long as they work in New York.

One key dividing line? Nonprofit status. PFL law excludes certain classes of employees at incorporated nonprofit 501 (c)(3) religious, charitable or educational institutions. Examples include daycare centers, church preschools, charities, etc.

Who's covered may also depend on employees' job duties. The chart shows more examples.

Excluded or Covered under PFL?
PFL regulations exclude: non-profit incorporated 501 (c)(3) religious, charitable or educational institutions such as daycare centers, church preschools, charities, etc.
Excluded classes include:Excluded ExamplesCovered Examples
Executive officersCFOAssistant principal
Individual contributors
Employees in a Teaching Capacity who create lesson plans and provide classroom instructionTeacher at a non-profit who provides classroom instruction, and drafts lesson plans in a daycare or school setting.Teacher's aide
ClergyMinisters, Priests, Rabbis, Imams, Sextons, Christian Science Readers, or members of a religious orderAdministrative staff
People participating in and receiving rehabilitative services in a sheltered workshop run by one of these specific non-profit institutionsWorkshop participantRehabilitation counselors
Uncompensated volunteersUnpaid Sunday school teachers
Other volunteers

Want to provide voluntary coverage? Follow these guidelines.

  • Employers can apply to provide voluntary coverage to specific classes of excluded employees.
  • You must extend voluntary coverage to the entire class of employees.
  • You must maintain the coverage for at least one year.
  • To end the coverage, you must provide 90-day written notice to the chair of the Workers’ Comp Board and the affected employees.
  • You must also include how you’ll pay any costs incurred before and on the date coverage ends.

To find out more about PFL and other regulations that affect employees, follow The Standard on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with the hashtag #PaidFamilyLeave, and subscribe   to this blog's RSS feed to receive updated content as new information becomes available.

For more details about New York Paid Family Leave, visit:

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