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Date ArticleType
7/30/2017 Chamber News
Businesses Need to Prepare for NYS Paid Family Leave

On July 19, 2017 the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board approved the final regulations for New York’s Paid Family Leave Benefits Law. The law take effect on January 1, 2018. The program will be phased in over a four year period from 2018 to 2021. There are two major components to the law. The law, through existing Disability Benefits Law provides broad paid family leave benefits. Secondly, eligible employees have a right to a leave of absence and guaranteed reinstatement.

An employer that has one or more employees employed in New York on each of at least 30 days in any calendar year is subject to this law. Employees who work 20 or more hours per week will be eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment, and they will be guaranteed the right to return to their job and continue their health insurance. Part-time employees are eligible for benefits if employed by a covered employer for 175 days.

Employers are required to obtain Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage, however the cost of the coverages is intended to be fully funded through employee payroll deductions. The maximum weekly employee contribution for coverage will be .126% of an employee’s weekly wage, up to the statewide average weekly wage. As of July 1, 2017 employers could have started making deduction from employee’s pay. In terms of the PFL premiums there are several things employers should consider, including: will the PFL premiums be billed quarterly or annually, will the premium be billed in arrears or in advance and when will the first premium be due? Employers should also be considering when their payroll systems will be able to implement the employee deduction and when will an effective employee communication plan be in place to explain the payroll deduction and the PFL program in general?

Many of our member insurance brokers, lawyers and accountants can help provide guidance to you regarding PFL.  We strongly encourage employers, human resource professionals, and employees to all become familiar with the new policies around Paid Family Leave in New York State.  The state has a website set up for information at www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-paid-family-leave, or you can call the Paid Family Leave toll-free helpline Monday-Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm at 1-844-337-6303.

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