Important NYS Paid Family Leave Changes for 2019

As of January 1, 2018, New York State’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) began to provide paid time off so an employee can: bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child; care for a family member with a serious health condition; or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty.

The immediate benefits notwithstanding, PFL allows you to continue your health insurance while on leave and guarantees that you return to the same or a comparable job after your leave ends.

Who is Eligible?

If you work a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week, you are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment. If you work a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week, you are eligible after working 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive. You are also eligible regardless of your citizenship and/or immigration status.

What is the Benefit?

For 2019, PFL will pay 55% of your average weekly wage, not to exceed 55% of the New York State average weekly wage, for a maximum of 10 weeks. However, the benefit is set to increase each year for the following two years, through 2021, and will be capped at 67% of your average weekly wage for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Payroll Deduction

The 2019 payroll contribution is 0.153% of all weekly wages, capped at 0.153% of the current State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The SAWW is $1,357.12. Contributions will continue until the annual maximum of $107.97 is reached. As such, some employees will reach the annual maximum more quickly than others, and their deductions will stop until 2020.

Opting Out

You can choose to opt out of PFL if you do not expect to work for your employer for the minimum amount of time required for eligibility. If you meet this criteria and wish to opt out, you can do so by completing a Paid Family Leave waiver. A waiver of family leave benefits may be filed when your schedule is 20 hours or more per week, but you will not work 26 consecutive weeks; or when your schedule is less than 20 hours per week and you will not work 175 days in a 52 week consecutive period.

For more information or a confidential consultation, please contact Merriam Insurance.

New York State Paid Family Leave

Lisa Rice
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