FamilyLeaveOL

New York State Paid Family Leave Takes Effect January 1, 2018: Are You Ready?

Starting January 1, 2018, all private employers, regardless of employer size, with employees working in New York State for 30 or more days in a calendar year, must have Paid Family Leave coverage for their employees.

What is Paid Family Leave?

As described by New York State, Paid Family Leave provides partial wage replacement and job protection to eligible employees for paid time off from work:

  • To bond with and care for a newborn, adopted or fostered child during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or fostering of the child.
  • To tend to obligations arising from a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent who has been notified of an order of active military duty.
  • To care for a close relative with a serious health condition.

A “close relative” is defined as: an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent in-law, grandparent, or grandchild.

An employee may be granted paid family leave only once in a 12-month period, which will be measured forward from the date the employee’s first Paid Family Leave begins.

Unlike federal Family and Medical Leave Act leave, employees may not use paid family leave for their own serious health condition.

 Who is Eligible?

Employees are eligible:

  • After 26 work weeks if they work a regular schedule of twenty or more hours per week; or
  • After 175 work days if they work a regular schedule of fewer than twenty hours per week.

May Employees Opt-Out?

In certain circumstances, temporary or seasonal employees may opt-out of such benefits.

How Much Leave May Employees Take and How Much Do They Receive?

The amount of paid leave and the amount of pay, will be staggered from years 2018 to 2021, eventually increasing from 8 to 12 weeks of paid family leave, as follows:

 

Benefits Phase-in Table
Year Weeks Available in Any 52-Week Period Max % of Employee Average Weekly Wage Cap % of State Average Weekly Wage
1/1/2018 8 50% 50%
1/1/2019 10 55% 55%
1/1/2020 10 60% 60%
1/1/2021 12 67% 67%

Starting January 1, 2018, eligible employees may take 8 weeks of Family Leave during any 52-week period, beginning on the first day they take paid family leave.  They may be eligible to receive 50% of their salary during their 8 weeks of leave, up to (but not more than) the state average weekly wage.

As of January 1, 2019, eligible employees may take 10 weeks of paid family leave and will receive 55% of their salary during the 10 weeks of leave, up to the state average weekly wage at that time.  If weekly earnings are greater than the state average weekly wage, earnings during the leave period will be capped at 55%.

As of January 1, 2020, eligible employees may take 10 weeks of paid family leave and will receive 60% of their salary during the 10 weeks of leave.  If weekly earnings are greater than the state average weekly wage, earnings during the leave period will be capped at 60%.

When fully phased-in on January 1, 2021, employees will be eligible to take 12 weeks of paid family leave and receive 67% of their salary during their 12 weeks of leave.   If their weekly earnings are greater than the state average weekly wage, their earnings during their leave period will be capped at 67% of the state average weekly wage level.

Who Pays for Paid Family Leave?

The program is included as a rider to an employer’s short-term disability policy, but will be fully funded by employees through payroll deductions each pay period, which employers could have begun making as early as July, 2017, unless the employer chooses to pay the premium itself.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has established the employee contribution for coverage beginning January 1, 2018, to be 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage, up to and not to exceed the statewide average weekly wage, currently $1,305.  That percentage will be deducted each pay period from an employee’s paycheck to pay for the premium for this insurance benefit.

A maximum rate of employees’ contribution will be established each year.

Does the Law Apply to Non-Profit Organizations?

Yes, generally, but coverage restrictions for disability benefits for employees of non-profit or religious institutions also apply to Paid Family Leave.  As you may know, “[r]eligious, charitable or educational institutions operating on a non-profit basis are required to obtain disability benefits insurance or to provide disability benefits through approved self-insurance to all of their employees, with exceptions, as noted below, if they employ one or more employees: …a duly ordained, commissioned or licensed minister, priest or rabbi; a sexton; a christian  science reader; a member of a religious order.

Also excluded from mandatory coverage are persons engaged in a professional or teaching capacity in or for a “religious, charitable or educational institution”; or an executive officer of an incorporated religious, charitable or educational institution; or persons participating in or receiving rehabilitative services in a sheltered workshop operated by such institutions under a certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor; or volunteers in or for such institutions; or recipients of charitable aid from a religious or charitable institution who perform work in or for such institution which is incidental to or in return for the aid conferred, and not under an expressed contract of hire.”

How Much Notice Must an Employee Provide to His/Her Employer Before Taking Leave?

If an employee’s Paid Family Leave is foreseeable, that employee must provide at least 30 days’ advance notice before the leave begins.

May an Employer Require Documentation of the Need for Paid Family Leave?

Yes, an employer may require a certification from a health care provider treating the employee’s family member or, if the leave is following birth of a child, the health care provider treating the mother of the child.  For adoption and foster care, different types of documentation will be needed.  Employees taking Paid Family Leave for a qualifying military event must provide copies of Duty Papers or other supporting documentation.

Do Employers Have an Obligation to Continue Health Insurance Benefits and Leave the Position Open During an Employee’s Paid Family Leave?

Yes, employers must continue employees’ health insurance benefits during the Paid Family Leave so long as employees continue to pay their share of health insurance premiums for coverage during their absence.   Such employee contributions will continue to be paid through payroll deductions.

The law requires employers to restore employees to the same position or a comparable one if the employee returns to work after paid family leave.   Failure to do so may result in claims of unlawful discrimination or retaliation.

What Should Employers Do Now?

In view of this impending law, New York employers should contact their disability insurance carrier if they have not done so already to obtain paid family leave insurance, set up employee payroll deductions for these benefits and inform employees in writing about the payroll deductions and their rights under the law, create written policies addressing paid family leave, post a mandatory notice in the workplace (as with workers’ compensation and disability benefits), and train managers on the law’s new requirements.  Copies of the Paid Family Leave forms and the mandatory poster can be found at: https://www.ny.gov/new-york-state-paid-family-leave/paid-family-leave-forms-employees-employers-and-insurance-carriers.

If you have any questions about this law’s application to your workplace, please contact Lisa M. Brauner, Head of Perlman & Perlman LLP’s employment practice, at 212-889-0575, lisa@perlmanandperlman.com.

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who we work with

Our clients are diverse nonprofit organizations with a broad range of missions, as well as for-profit companies in evolving areas such as social enterprise, corporate philanthropy, joint ventures, technology-driven fundraising, and impact investing.

A.B. Data
AB InBev Foundation
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Avalon Consulting
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Bleeding Blue for Good Fund
Bradley Cooper’s One Family Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Brooks Brothers
Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Doctors of the World/ Medecins du Monde
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
Feed The Children
Food For The Poor
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Hope for New York
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
J. Crew Group
Johns Hopkins University
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LSU Foundation

Marts & Lundy
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
NAACP Foundation
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Marrow Donor Program
National Park Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
PopSockets
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Save the Children Federation
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Subaru of America
The Little Market
Touro University
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
United Way Worldwide
University of Connecticut
University of Virginia
Vote.org
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YWCA USA

A.B. Data
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
American Rivers
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Burger King McLamore Foundation
Cancer Care
Carnegie East House and James Lenox House Association
Center for Car Donations
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Convoy of Hope
Cornell University
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Feed The Children
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Helen Keller Services
Hope for New York
Human Rights Watch
Humane Society of US
Indiegogo
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
Japanese American National Museum
Johns Hopkins University
Lane Bryant Charities
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LSU Foundation
Mattel
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
National Breast Cancer Coalition
National Marrow Donor Program
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Obama Foundation
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Steinhardt Foundation
Subaru of America
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
University of Montana Foundation
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YMCA USA
YWCA of New York City
YWCA USA

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news & events

Our attorneys’ recent contributions to the media and nonprofit sector publications.

news & events

Check out our attorneys’ recent contributions to the media and industry publications.

Secure Your Data – Seriously, AFP New York Chapter News
As Jon Dartley, a data privacy and security attorney at Perlman and Perlman says, “It is vital to have the appropriate legal terms in the contract to protect your interests.”  Find out what your liability limit is.  Have it in writing who bears the responsibility and cost of a data breach.  And, have the vendor agree on a specific timeframe within which they need to advise you of a data breach.

Warning: Don’t Cut Legal Corners When Mixing Social And Business Impact,  Forbes
Particularly striking is that (Karen) Wu believes this is the “first multi-state regulatory activity involving cause marketing in almost two decades.”

Is stealing, then giving back, OK?
Cliff Perlman lends his advice on theft within a nonprofit.

Buyer Beware: Negotiating Terms in Technology Agreements
Jon Dartley provides tips on negotiating contracts with technology vendors.

Four Ways Charitable Giving Could Change with a Tax Overhaul
Cliff Perlman remarks on the possible threat of a change to charitable deduction.

How To Deal With Residual Data, Nonprofit Times
Jon Dartley’s advice on addressing “data exhaust”.

Secure Your Data – Seriously, AFP New York Chapter News
As Jon Dartley, a data privacy and security attorney at Perlman and Perlman says, “It is vital to have the appropriate legal terms in the contract to protect your interests.”  Find out what your liability limit is.  Have it in writing who bears the responsibility and cost of a data breach.  And, have the vendor agree on a specific timeframe within which they need to advise you of a data breach.

Warning: Don’t Cut Legal Corners When Mixing Social And Business Impact,  Forbes
Particularly striking is that (Karen) Wu believes this is the “first multi-state regulatory activity involving cause marketing in almost two decades.”

Is stealing, then giving back, OK?
Cliff Perlman lends his advice on theft within a nonprofit.

Buyer Beware: Negotiating Terms in Technology Agreements
Jon Dartley provides tips on negotiating contracts with technology vendors.

Four Ways Charitable Giving Could Change with a Tax Overhaul
Cliff Perlman remarks on the possible threat of a change to charitable deduction.

How To Deal With Residual Data, Nonprofit Times
Jon Dartley’s advice on addressing “data exhaust”.

perlman & perlman philanthropic sector law firm blue and green logo

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perlman & perlman philanthropic sector law firm blue and green logo

click to exit page

silk lanterns

who we work with

Our clients are diverse nonprofit organizations with a broad range of missions, as well as for-profit companies in evolving areas such as social enterprise, corporate philanthropy, joint ventures, technology-driven fundraising, and impact investing.

who we work with

Our clients are diverse nonprofit organizations with a broad range of missions, as well as for-profit companies in evolving areas such as social enterprise, corporate philanthropy, joint ventures, technology-driven fundraising, and impact investing.

A.B. Data
AB InBev Foundation
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Avalon Consulting
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Bleeding Blue for Good Fund
Bradley Cooper’s One Family Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Brooks Brothers
Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Doctors of the World/ Medecins du Monde
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
Feed The Children
Food For The Poor
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Hope for New York
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
J. Crew Group
Johns Hopkins University
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LSU Foundation

Marts & Lundy
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
NAACP Foundation
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Marrow Donor Program
National Park Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
PopSockets
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Save the Children Federation
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Subaru of America
The Little Market
Touro University
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
United Way Worldwide
University of Connecticut
University of Virginia
Vote.org
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YWCA USA

A.B. Data
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
American Rivers
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Burger King McLamore Foundation
Cancer Care
Carnegie East House and James Lenox House Association
Center for Car Donations
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Convoy of Hope
Cornell University
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Feed The Children
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Helen Keller Services
Hope for New York
Human Rights Watch
Humane Society of US
Indiegogo
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
Japanese American National Museum
Johns Hopkins University
Lane Bryant Charities
LSU Foundation
Mattel
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
National Breast Cancer Coalition
National Marrow Donor Program
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Obama Foundation
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Steinhardt Foundation
Subaru of America
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
University of Montana Foundation
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YMCA USA
YWCA of New York City
YWCA USA
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

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