With a new year comes new changes to employment laws in many states. One that is notable is New York with the new Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL) will initially require employers to provide eligible employees with eight weeks of paid leave at 50 percent of their salary. The program will be funded by employee paycheck deductions amounting to between 50 cents and a dollar a week. Upon completion of a phase-in of the law, as of Jan. 1, 2021, employers will have to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave at 67 percent of an eligible worker’s salary. Benefits will be capped at 50 percent of New York’s average weekly wage (currently $1,305.92).

By adding this paid leave law, New York joins California, Rhode Island, Washington, New Jersey and District of Columbia who also offer paid family leave.

Some facts to know about this new paid leave law in New York:

  • Private employers will be required to comply with this leave.
  • Full-time and part-time employees will be eligible for paid family leave.
  • Employees will be able to use paid family leave with family medical leave act by using one after another one runs out. For example, an employee can be on FMLA and once the time on the leave is used up, an employee can use paid family leave afterwards.

Employees will be able to use the leave to:

  • Care for a child within 12 months after birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Relieve family pressure in the event of a qualifying exigency when a family member is called to active military service.

This type of additional leave can place a financial burden on private employers. Some of the states offer job protection while employees are on leave and other states do not offer job protection. Rhode Island offers four weeks of paid leave with 60% of weekly wage replacement. California has six weeks of paid leave with 55% of weekly wage replacement. Even if you don’t have employees in one of these states, it is important to take note of how these laws are evolving. Forbes predicts these states are next to enact a paid family leave policy:

  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Virginia
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • Missouri
  • Vermont
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Florida
  • Connecticut
  • Wisconsin
  • New Hampshire

Are you familiar with the types of paid leave required by your state? If not, check out our Employee Leave Laws by State document or contact the HR experts at Helpside.