New York State Paid Family Leave (NYS PFL) provides employees with job-protected, paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or help relieve pressures when a family member is called to active military service. NYS PFL requires employers with New York employees to purchase NYS PFL insurance, which provides employees with NYS PFL benefits. Employers can either pay for the insurance or deduct a “premium rate” from employees’ gross wages to fund the insurance premiums.

NYS PFL began on January 1, 2018 and benefits are phased in over four years, increasing annually until 2021. In 2020, eligible employees can receive 60% of their average weekly wage (AWW), up to a maximum of $840.70 per week, for up to 10 weeks under NYS PFL. The premium rate also increased in 2020, and employers can deduct up to 0.27% of employees’ gross wages, up to an annual cap of $196.72, to fund NYS PFL insurance.

2020 New York State Paid Family Leave Rates

Maximum Time Off 10 weeks
Weekly Wage Replacement 60% of employee AWW
Maximum Weekly Wage Replacement $840.70
Payroll Deductions (per pay period) 0.27% of employees’ gross wages each pay period
Annual Payroll Deduction Cap $196.72



Which employers are subject to NYS PFL?

Employers with employees working in New York for 30 or more days in a calendar year must obtain NYS PFL insurance. NYS PFL applies to employees who work in New York, irrespective of where the employee lives or where the employer is headquartered.


Which employees can utilize NYS PFL?

Employees who work in New York and who:

  • regularly work 20+ hours per week and who have worked more than 26 consecutive weeks; or
  • regularly work less than 20 hours per week and who have worked more than 175 working days.


What are the benefits under NYS PFL?

Eligible employees can take NYS PFL leave for certain qualifying events. While employees are on leave, NYS PFL provides:

  • Wage replacement;
  • Job protection;
  • Continuation of employer-sponsored health coverage; and
  • Protection from discrimination or retaliation against employees for requesting or taking leave.


What are the employer obligations under NYS PFL?

Employers who have one or more employees who work in New York must:

  • Obtain NYS PFL insurance (which is usually added as a rider on an existing disability insurance policy);
  • Pay for NYS PFL insurance or collect employee payroll contributions to pay for NYS PFL insurance (employers are encouraged but not required to provide employees with a notice of PDL payroll deductions);
  • Post a Notice of Compliance, that states that they have NYS PFL insurance (which will be provided by their insurance carrier);
  • Inform employees of their rights under NYS PFL, either in an employee handbook or other written materials (New York provides model language for employers to include in employee handbooks or in other written materials);
  • Offer ineligible employees who will not meet the minimum eligibility requirements a waiver;
  • Respond to employee requests for leave;
  • Continue to provide employer-sponsored health care coverage while employees are on NYS PFL; and
  • Refrain from discriminating or retaliating against employees taking NYS PFL.

For more on employer responsibilities, see the NYS PFL webpage.


Employer Action Items:

  • Employers should determine whether they need NYS PFL insurance;
  • Employers should determine whether they want to pay for the NYS PFL insurance or take payroll deductions from employees (which is 0.27% starting in 2020, up to an annual cap of $196.72);
  • Employers are encouraged, but are not required, to inform their employees of the 2020 NYS PFL payroll deduction (the model notice for 2020 can be found here);
  • Employers should connect with their payroll teams to ensure payroll deductions will be updated for 2020;
  • Employers should ensure that their employee handbook or informational materials are updated with the 2020 rates (if applicable); and
  • Ensure compliance with employer obligations under NYS PFL, including having NYS PFL insurance and posting the Notice of Compliance.


Additional Resources:


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.