New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) is a state benefit program that offers paid leave to New York employees while they bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or when an employee’s family member is called to active military service (or has been notified of an impending call).  PFL took effect on January 1, 2018.  An employer with employees working in New York for 30 or more days in a calendar year must obtain PFL coverage.


New Legislative Proposals:

In late June, the New York Legislature passed two bills that look to expand New York PFL.  The bills have not yet been signed into law.  The first bill adds bereavement leave for the death of a family member to the list of qualifying reasons to take PFL.  The current PFL statute defines “family member” as the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, child or stepchild, parent or stepparent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild.  Once signed into law, leave for bereavement would take effect January 1, 2020.  Please click here for the full text of the bill.


The second bill is titled The Living Donor Protection Act.  This bill authorizes PFL to provide care to a family member with a serious health condition that would now include “transplantation preparation and recovery from surgery related to organ or tissue donation.”  Should Governor Cuomo sign the bill, the act will take effect 19 days after becoming law.


Employer Action Items:

  • These bills have not been signed into law, so there is no employer action at this time.
  • Should these bills become law, covered employers should amend their PFL policies to reflect the additional allowed reasons for New York employees to take PFL.


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Joanna Castillo– Joanna is the Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Joanna enjoys live music, college football, travel, and walking her dog in Golden Gate Park.