Cuomo announces regulations implementing paid family leave

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Governor Cuomo announced that the state has adopted regulations implementing New York's Paid Family Leave program.

These regulations outline the responsibilities of employers and insurance carriers in implementing the most comprehensive paid family leave program in the nation.

Starting January 1, 2018, Paid Family Leave will provide employees with wage replacement and job protection to help them bond with a child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or help relieve family pressures when someone is deployed abroad on active military service.

Employees are also entitled to be reinstated to their job when their leave ends and to the continuation of their health insurance during their leave.

"There is a time in everyone's lives where being there for a loved one in need is more important than anything and - finally - New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between losing their job and being a decent human being," Governor Cuomo said. "By enacting and implementing the strongest paid family leave program in the nation, this administration is taking yet another step forward to providing economic justice to all New Yorkers."

Cuomo says private employers must secure Paid Family Leave insurance coverage or self-insure in time to provide coverage on January 1, 2018. Paid Family Leave premiums will be funded by employees through payroll deductions.

The regulations address eligibility, coverage, the phase-in schedule for Paid Family Leave, and more information on how employees, employers, and insurance carriers will interact to pay benefits.

The Workers' Compensation Board regulations implementing Paid Family Leave are available here . The Department of Financial Services implementing regulations for insurance companies, adopted on May 31, 2017, are available here .

For more information, visit the Paid Family Leave website at www.ny.gov/paidfamilyleave . The public can also call the Paid Family Leave helpline at (844) 337-6303 with any questions.

Paid Family Leave Basics

Paid Family Leave provides coverage for:
• Parents during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child;
• Employees caring for a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild with a serious health condition; and
• Employees assisting loved ones when a spouse, child, domestic partner, or parent is deployed abroad on active military duty.

Employee Eligibility:
• Employees with a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 weeks of employment.
• Employees with a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after 175 days worked.

Insurance Coverage: Paid Family Leave coverage will typically be included as a rider to an employer's existing disability insurance policy, and will be fully funded by employees through payroll deductions. In 2018, the maximum employee contribution is 0.126% of an employee's weekly wage up to 0.126% of the annualized New York State Average Weekly Wage. The program is mandatory for nearly all private employers. Public employers may opt into the program.

Phase-in Schedule: Paid Family Leave will be phased in over four years, beginning January 1, 2018. In 2018, employees may take up to eight weeks of paid leave at 50% of an employee's average weekly wage up to 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage. That increases to 12 weeks of paid leave in 2021 paid at 67% of an employee's average weekly wage up to 67% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage.


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