Starting January 1, 2018, most employees who work in New York State for private employers will be eligible to take paid family leave to care for a newborn child or a sick family member. If you are a public employee working for the state, your employer may choose to offer paid family leave so check to see if your office is eligible.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the law in 2016, giving New Yorkers the country’s strongest and most comprehensive policy for paid family leave. As a result of the bills passage, working families will no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and risking their economic security.
New York’s Paid Family Leave provides job-protected, paid time off so workers can:
- Bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child;
- Care for a close relative with a serious health condition; or
- Assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.
Private sector employees can continue health insurance while on leave and are guaranteed the same or a comparable job after the leave ends, giving employees the peace of mind of knowing their careers will not be affected when taking care of a loved on. It is important to note that workers who contribute to the cost of their health insurance must continue to pay their portion of premium costs while taking paid family leave.
Furthermore, the law holds that immigration statues does not impact eligibility and employers may not discriminate against those who take full advantage of the law to provide vital care and attention to family members. However, it is important to know the eligibility requirements to qualify for paid medical leave and ensure compliance with the law.
To qualify for paid medical leave in New York, employees who work a regular schedule of 20-hours of work or more per week may apply after 26-weeks on the job. Employees with a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after 175 days worked.
Employees are expected to give their company 30-days notice, when practical, and fill out a claim form according to employer instructions. Claim forms are available from employer,
insurance carrier, or www.ny.gov/paidfamilyleave. Employees must submit a claim form and supporting documentation to their employer’s insurance carrier or as directed by employer and the insurance carrier must pay or deny a claim within 18-days of receipt of the completed claim.