New York Paid Family Leave 

BENEFITS

Starting January 1, 2018

Benefits provide the employee a percentage of their average weekly wages phased in over four years

YEAR                              2018         2019         2020         2021

BENEFIT %                    50 %         55 %         60 %         67 %

DURATION (wks)           8               10             12             12

RATE INFO

Rate:   There is no fixed rate as it is based on the employee’s salary.

 

The weekly contribution rate for Paid Family Leave is 0.126% of the employee’s weekly wage (capped at New York State’s current average weekly wage of $1,305.92*). This translates into a maximum contribution of $1.65 per week per employee in 2018, regardless of gender, age, or other factors.

 

NOTE:  The PFL premiums must be paid on the same frequency as the DBL; ie if DBL is paid annual in advance, PFL must be paid Annual in Advance, and the same goes with Quarterly in Arrears.  Since an employer cannot withhold the full years contributions upfront, the State has afforded employers the option of starting the with-holdings effective 7/1/2017 so they can build up a reserve of funds to help offset the first premium billing. This was designed to help those employers that pay Annual in Advance.  

ELIGIBILITY

Sole Proprietors, Partnerships and LLC/LLP members (or any other self-employed people with employees) can obtain voluntary coverage for themselves effective 1/1/2018, or within 26 weeks of forming their business or becoming an LLC/LLP member.   If they miss the window, there is a 2 year waiting period for PFL benefits.  Employees are not subject to the 2 year waiting period.

Employees

Who Is Eligible

 

  • Employees in the state of New York starting January 2018 if they meet certain criteria:

  

  • They work at a private organization with at least one employee (not counting the owner).

 

  • Full-time employees can take leave after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.

  

  • Part-time employees are eligible to take leave after 175 days of employment.

  

  • Anyone with a qualifying leave event (birth, adoption, foster care, care of family member during a military leave or qualifying medical issue) beginning in 2018, as well as births and adoptions within the last 12 months — even those in 2017!

Who Is Not Eligible

 

  • Any employee already receiving total disability (the coverage an injured worker may receive during his or her recovery) benefits.

  

  • Employees on administrative leave.

  

  • Employees who work for an exempt employer.

  

  • Employees who are excluded from coverage under Article 9 of the Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and the Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL).

 

  • Employees working outside New York State.

FREQUENTY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

1)    How do employees get coverage?

2)    Who pays for Paid Family Leave? 

 

3)    When can employers start taking deductions from employees to fund PFL premium?

 

4)    Why would employers start taking deductions July 1, 2017?

 

5)    Do I have to participate in the Paid Family Leave program?

 

6)    What billing frequencies are available to employers?

 

7)    How is job protection defined for NY PFL?

 

8)    Do FMLA and NY PFL run concurrently?

 

9)    Is there a maximum combined benefit for DBL and PFL?

 

10)  When will employees be eligible for PFL?

 

11)  Can employees take intermittent leave with Paid Family Leave?

 

12)  What is the Employer’s role in the PFL claim submission process?

 

13)  When can a maternity claim change from DBL to PFL?

 

14)  What is the definition of Family?

 

15)  Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave to take care of an eligible relative living outside New York?

 

16)  How does a company with an approved self-funded NY DBL program obtain Paid Family Leave?

 

17)   I am not a US citizen. Will I still be eligible for Paid Family Leave?

 

18)   I am an undocumented worker.  Can I take Paid Family Leave?

 

19)   Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave if I work part-time?

 

20)  I am collecting workers’ compensation. Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave?

 

21)  I am a freelance worker. Am I eligible for Paid Family Leave?

 

22)  I am a farm laborer. Am I eligible for Paid Family Leave?

 

23)  Will I have to take all of my sick time and/or vacation before I use Paid Family Leave?

 

24)  Can I take Paid Family Leave and use my sick and/or vacation time together so that I receive my full salary?

1)  How do employees get coverage?

 

For existing customers with DBL coverage, all employees covered by DBL will automatically have NY PFL coverage effective January 1, 2018.  The PFL rider will be automatically added to DBL policies continuing in effect in 2018.

 

2)  Who pays for Paid Family Leave? 

 

New York’s Paid Family Leave is entirely employee-funded. That is, the benefit is paid for by employees.
 

 

3)  When can employers start taking deductions from employees to fund PFL premium?

 

Employers can start taking deductions as early as July 1, 2017.  Beginning on or after July 1, 2017, you will see a payroll deduction to pay for your Paid Family Leave benefit.   The amount of the deduction will be established before July 2017.

 

4)  Why would employers start taking deductions July 1, 2017?

 

Taking deductions July 1, 2017 allows employers to create a reserve of funds to pay the premium due January 1. This is important for those employers that currently pay annually in advance on their NY DBL bill.

 

 

5)  Do I have to participate in the Paid Family Leave program?
 

Yes, Paid Family Leave is not optional for most employees. The exception is if you are in a job that will not allow you to attain the 26 continuous weeks or 175 days needed to qualify for Paid Family Leave (for example a seasonal worker).

 

6)  What billing frequencies are available to employers?

 

The billing frequency of PFL must match the billing frequency of DBL. Because PFL premium is paid by employees, employers who currently pay annually and in-advance are encouraged to switch to quarterly and in-arrears.

 

7)  How is job protection defined for NY PFL?

 

Job protection is defined as returning an employee to the same or a comparable job upon return from leave. Employees are also guaranteed continuation of health insurance while out on Paid Family Leave. Where the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more lives to job protect, NY PFL provides job protection to all eligible employees working in New York that are covered under Paid Family Leave, up to the maximum number of weeks allowed under the law in any given year.

 

8)  Do FMLA and NY PFL run concurrently?

 

Yes, potentially for an employer subject to FMLA (50 or more lives).

 

9)  Is there a maximum combined benefit for DBL and PFL?

 

Yes, DBL and PFL, when combined, cannot exceed 26 weeks in any 52 consecutive calendar weeks. For example, if an employee takes 20 weeks of DBL at the beginning of the year, he or she will only have 6 weeks of available PFL during that 52 week period. The 52 week look back begins on 1st day of PFL taken. Conversely, if an employee takes 8 weeks of Paid Leave at the beginning of the year, he or she will only have 18 weeks of DBL remaining. New York Paid Family Leave Producer Frequently Asked Questions Series 1: Common Employer Questions

 

10)  When will employees be eligible for PFL?

 

Full Time employees are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment. Part Time employees (defined as employees working less than 5 days) are eligible on the 175th working day.

 

11)  Can employees take intermittent leave with Paid Family Leave?

 

Yes, intermittent leaves are allowable on an approved PFL claim; however each intermittent day will count as 1 whole PFL day taken.

 

12)  What is the Employer’s role in the PFL claim submission process?

 

Employers will need to fill out Part B of the PFL-1 claim form which confirms date of hire, average weekly wages and any DBL or PFL time already used by the claimant. A claim will not be denied if Part B is incomplete, however to ensure the most accurate benefit is paid, employers will want to make sure this section is completed accurately.

 

13)  When can a maternity claim change from DBL to PFL?

 

At time of birth, mothers will have the option to continue receiving DBL benefits or begin PFL benefits. PFL benefits are not available for pre-partum.

 

14)  What is the definition of Family?

 

New York defines family as child, parent (definition of parent includes in-law), grandparent, grandchild, spouse, or domestic partner This can differ from other states PFL definitions as well as the federal definition of family.

 

15)  Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave to take care of an eligible relative living outside New York?
 

Yes, as long as you are caring for an eligible family member, and provide the medical certification.

 

16)  How does a company with an approved self-funded NY DBL program obtain Paid Family Leave?

 

A company can either file for self-funding PFL, or can obtain a stand-alone fully insured PFL program from a participating carrier. Rules regarding Paid Family Leave have not yet been finalized. Please note the answers provided are based on the proposed rules and may be subject to change.

 

17)  I am not a US citizen. Will I still be eligible for Paid Family Leave?
 

Yes. Your citizenship status has no impact on your Paid Family Leave eligibility.

  

18)  I am an undocumented worker.  Can I take Paid Family Leave?
 

Yes. Your immigration status has no impact on your Paid Family Leave eligibility.

 

19)  Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave if I work part-time?
 

In most instances, yes.  You must work 175 days part-time to be eligible for a Paid Family Leave benefit.

 

20)  I am collecting workers’ compensation. Will I be able to use Paid Family Leave?
 

If you are not working and are collecting workers’ compensation, you may not use Paid Family Leave.

 

21)  I am a freelance worker. Am I eligible for Paid Family Leave?
 

If you do not have a regular employer and work as an independent contractor, you will not have Paid Family Leave benefits unless you purchase coverage for yourself.

 

22)  I am a farm laborer. Am I eligible for Paid Family Leave?
 

If you work in service as a farm laborer, you are not eligible for disability or Paid Family Leave benefits.

 

23)  Will I have to take all of my sick time and/or vacation before I use Paid Family Leave?
 

An employer may permit you to use vacation or sick leave for full salary, but may not require you to use either. 

 

24)  Can I take Paid Family Leave and use my sick and/or vacation time together so that I receive my full salary?
 

Yes, if your employer allows you to use your sick and vacation time to allow you to receive your full salary, than you can do so.