Employment Law Blog

Saturday, April 2, 2016

New York Creates Paid Family Leave

New York has now become just the fifth state - after California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington State - to mandate paid leave. The program will mandate up to 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child and to care for an ill parent, child, spouse, domestic partner or other family member. While federal law, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allows some employees 12 weeks of leave for similar events, that leave is unpaid leave. Unlike with federal law, New York's law will cover full and part-time employees and there will be no exemptions for small businesses. Moreover, whereas with federal FMLA you have to work for one year before you are eligible for leave, New York law only requires 6 months of employment. The program will be funded on an insurance model, in which roughly a dollar a week will be deducted from employee paychecks. However, it is important to note that the paid leave will not become effective until January 1, 2018, and then it will be gradually phased in. The paid leave program, the most expansive in the nation, could become a model for other states.

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