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Background:

New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) is a benefit program that offers paid leave to New York employees while they bond with a new child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or when an employee’s family member is called to active military service. The law went into effect January 1, 2018 and enacts a phased-in system of paid leave for eligible workers. Please refer to our article, “Get Ready for New York Paid Family Leave,” for more information about eligibility requirements.

2019 Benefit Updates: 

The rate of benefits and length of benefits under NY PFL increase each year. In 2019, the rate will increase to 0.153% of the employee’s weekly wage (up from 0.126% in 2018) and increase to maximum of 10 weeks (up from 8 weeks in 2018). Please refer to our article, New York Releases Updated Paid Family Leave Rates, for more information on the benefit increases that take effect January 1, 2019.

Updated FAQ:

New York has updated the FAQ section of its website, which clarifies the benefits available under NY PFL to employees who start leave in 2018 and continue leave into 2019.

If an employee begins leave in 2018 and it extends into 2019, do the 2018 or 2019 NY PFL benefits apply?

Employees who start NY PFL in 2018 that extends into 2019 will receive benefits at the rate and length that was in effect on the first day of their leave. For example, if an employee started PFL in December 2018 and will continue to be on PFL in January 2019, the employee will receive the 2018 rate, 0.126% of gross weekly wages, for a maximum of 8 weeks.

If an employee has exhausted the maximum 8 weeks of leave in 2018 under NY PFL, do they qualify for an additional 2 weeks of leave in 2019?

If the employee experiences another qualifying event in 2019, they may qualify for an additional 2 weeks of leave in 2019. The maximum amount of leave will increase in 2019 to 10 weeks within a 52-week period (from 8 weeks in 2018). The 52-week period is rolling, meaning that the maximum does not “reset” at the end of the calendar year.

If the employee experiences another qualifying event in 2019, then they may be eligible for another 2 weeks of leave at the higher 2019 rate, even if it is within 52 weeks of the last leave. If it has been 52 weeks since that employee’s last leave date, then the employee will accrue a new week available PFL up to another 8 weeks.

Resources: 

New York Paid Family Leave Updates for 2019 FAQ

The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

Emerald Law– Emerald is a Client Compliance Consultant for Sequoia, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Emerald enjoys stand-up comedy, live music and writing non-fiction.