New York Paid Family Leave: Revised Regulations May, 2017

The latest round of edits made to the New York Paid Family Leave Law were released, and the comment period will end by June 24th. At that time, expect to see a finalized version. As a reminder, beginning in January, 2018, eligible employees will be able to take 8 weeks of paid leave (at 50% of their weekly salary up to a maximum based on average state weekly wage) funded by a payroll tax of no more than $1.65 per week. This leave can be used to care for close family members with a serious illness, bond with a new child, or ease certain circumstances arising from active military service. NY PFL will be offered as a bundled product with current New York DBL policies.

The key changes or clarifications are summarized below:

  1. A new provision stating that “[a]n employer covered by the FMLA that designates a concurrent period of family leave under [the PFLL] may charge an employee’s accrued paid time off in accordance with the provisions of the FMLA.” (meaning employers may require exhaustion of accrued PTO before the leave is then payable under PFL, if that’s their current FMLA/PTO policy). But note this only applies when PFL is running concurrently with an FMLA leave. If an employee takes PFL, and the employer is not subject to FMLA, then PTO exhaustion can be mandated.

  2. Employees who regularly work fewer than 20 hours a week (ie part time employees) will be eligible for paid family leave on the 175th day of work, and employees who work 20 or more hours a week (ie full time employees) will be eligible on their 26th consecutive work week.

  3. An employee may not receive more than 26 combined weeks of DBL (for their own medical condition) and PFL benefits during the same 52 consecutive week period.

  4. If an employee takes FMLA leave for their own medical condition, it does not reduce the amount of PFL leave that same employee is entitled to in the same year