Introduction to New York's Paid Family Leave Act

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation enacting a Paid Family Leave program for the state of New York on April 4, 2016. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, employers providing Disability Benefits Law must also provide a Paid Family Leave rider. The PFL program will provide New Yorkers with job-protected, paid leave to:

  • Bond with a new child
  • Care for a close relative with a serious health condition
  • Help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service

How will Paid Family Leave and benefits be phased in?

The program is designed to phase in over four years, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Benefits and duration of leave increase gradually as the program matures. In 2018, eligible employees may receive up to eight weeks of leave, paid at 50 percent of the employee's average weekly wage, up to a cap of 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.

Effective DateWeeks of Leave AvailableMax % of Employee SalaryCap % of State Average Weekly Wage

1/1/2018

8 weeks

50%

50%

1/1/2019

10 weeks

55%

55%

1/1/2020

10 weeks

60%

60%

1/1/2021

12 weeks

67%

67%

Who is eligible for Paid Family Leave?

Paid Family Leave applies to all employers subject to the New York Disability Benefits Law, regardless of size. Certain public employers not typically subject to Disability Benefits Law may also opt in to this program. Employers cannot opt out.

Is Paid Family Leave part of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act?

No. This is a state-mandated program with different eligibility rules and employer requirements than FMLA. However, in many cases the available leave types overlap and PFL and FMLA can run concurrently.

How is Paid Family Leave funded?

The state determines the rates for this coverage and carriers may not charge in excess of the communicated rate. As of July 1, 2017, employers were permitted (not required) to begin deducting for this new benefit. See The Standard's FAQ for more information about the rate and for guidance on when to begin deductions.

Can an employee receive Disability Benefits Law payments and Paid Family Leave at the same time?

No, DBL and PFL cannot run concurrently. However, if individuals meet eligibility requirements for both benefits, they could receive one payment type and then the other.

Next Steps: Stay in Touch for More Details on Paid Family Leave

Some key details and decisions needed to implement the PFL Act have not yet been finalized. As the law required, rates are in place as of June 1, 2017. As the effective date of the PFL Act is approaching, employers need to become familiar with the basic provisions of the Act, and prepare for its implementation.

For updates, visit New York Paid Family Leave: Employers.