New York Passes Nation’s Strongest Paid Family Leave Program
April 2016: Working families should never have to choose between caring for their loved ones and keeping their paycheck.
Led by Governor Cuomo, New York’s recently passed 2016-17 State Budget includes a landmark paid family leave policy – the longest and most comprehensive in the nation – to help workers maintain financial stability while taking time to care for a family member.
When fully phased-in, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition or to relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.
Establishing paid family leave marks a pivotal next step in the pursuit of equality and dignity in both the workplace and home.
Employers should note that the new paid family leave policy will be implemented gradually. Starting on January 1, 2018, employees will be eligible for eight weeks of paid leave, earning 50% of their weekly pay (capped at 50% of the statewide average weekly pay). The number of weeks of leave and amount of pay increases yearly until, by 2021, employees will be eligible for the full 12 weeks of paid leave, earning 67% of their weekly pay (capped at 67% of the statewide average weekly pay).
In order to be eligible to receive paid leave benefits, employees are required to have worked for their employer for at least six months. Paid leave benefits will be available on the first full day that leave is required for eligible employees (unlike New York State disability benefits where there is a waiting period before employees start receiving benefits).