As of the first of the year, private employers in New York State are required to grant employees paid time off under certain circumstances. New York’s Paid Family Leave Act, which comes at no financial cost to employers, allows workers to take time off to care for loved ones without losing their job.
Paid Family Leave Act Benefits Employers, too
New York’s Paid Family Leave Act was heralded as a big step forward for workers. While this is true, the legislation is also beneficial to owners of contracting companies. It can help you retain valuable employees who might have been otherwise forced to quit due to a major life event.
The Rules of Family Leave
The law requires private employers with one or more employees to obtain Paid Family Leave insurance. This insurance is generally added to an existing disability insurance policy.
The new legislation grants your employees the right to:
- Take eight weeks of paid time off
- Return to their job after the leave ends
- Continue health insurance during the work interruption
Employees can take this time off if they are:
- Bonding with a newly born, adopted or fostered child
- Caring for a close relative with a serious health condition
- Assisting loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service
In order to qualify, an employee must be:
- Full-time employees, who work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week, are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment
- Part-time employees, who work a regular schedule of less than 20 hours a week, are eligible after working 175 days
Employers are also required to notify their employees of the new procedures in writing.
Who Pays for Paid Leave
The Family Leave Act’s provisions do not cost employers a penny. The payments to workers on leave are financed through a small payroll contribution from eligible employees.
In 2018, the deduction is 0.126 percent of weekly wages and is capped at $85.86 per year. For example, an employee who earns $27,000 a year would pay 56 cents per week.
You can use this official calculator to receive an estimate of an employee’s weekly deduction.
If you have additional questions, you can contact the Paid Family Helpline at 844-337-6303. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.