New York State’s Paid Family Leave

The New York State budget for 2016-2017, which was proposed by Governor Cuomo, included a Paid Family Leave (PFL) policy.
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PFL, when fully-enacted, will allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave to care for an infant or family member with a serious health condition. Employees are eligible to take leave after having worked for an employer for six months.

The program will be funded by nominal payroll deductions, of up to 45 cents a week in the first year, by employees. PFL will become a part of the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program resulting in no administrative changes for businesses.

Benefits will be phased-in beginning in 2018, with 8 weeks at 50 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage, and fully implemented in 2021, with 12 weeks at 67 percent of their average weekly wage.

Research surrounding paid family leave shows benefits to the baby, mother and family, including a decline in infant and maternal mortality and more involvement by fathers in their children’s lives and in child care activities.

PFL has the potential to be a great equalizer for women. Many women who leave the workforce to care for a newborn child lose their existing salaries, and suffer diminished future earnings and career trajectories. PFL is a significant next step in the pursuit of equality and dignity in both the workplace and the home.

New York City Law is one of the most liberal in the country. It not only protects women from gender discrimination, but recently, the City Council expanded discrimination protection to care-giver status.

The United States is far behind other industrialized countries, which not only guarantee paid leave, but offers a greater amount of time with pay. The total paid parental leave available for mothers is 58 weeks in Japan, 52 weeks in Canada and 39 weeks in the United Kingdom. Fathers get up to 52 weeks paid paternity leave in Japan, 14 weeks in Norway and nearly 9 weeks in Croatia.

Current Federal Law, under The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), requires employers to provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave, only if the employer has at least 50 employees, and the employee has been working full-time for at least one year. These restrictions on the FMLA results in only about 40% of Americans being eligible for the leave.

Let Us Help

If you have requested FMLA leave and been denied contact Akin Law Group at 212-825-1400 to see whether you have a case.