Everything You Need to Know about New York’s Paid Family Leave Program

Jun 26, 2017 | Employee Benefits, GTM Blog, Labor Laws

Pregnant woman and husband

 

New York State employers — including household employers — will be required to provide paid family leave to their employees beginning January 1, 2018. Here’s everything you need to know about this new program.

What is NYS Paid Family Leave (PFL)?

Passed in 2016, NYS PFL extends beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), providing employees paid leave for various family or medical reasons. PFL can be taken by male or female employees to:

  • Bond with a newborn, adopted or foster-care child during the first 12 months after birth or placement
  • Care for a seriously ill family member
  • Address important needs related to a family member’s military service

Your employee may receive wage compensation of up to eight weeks for PFL in 2018 with a maximum weekly benefit of 50 percent of their average weekly wage or the average New York State weekly wage of $1,305.92, whichever is less.

Full-time employees are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment. Part-time workers can take advantage of PFL after 175 working days. They can expect to maintain their same or similar job upon their return to work.

Is my household employee covered by this new law?

Yes, household employees who work 40 or more hours a week and 30 days in a calendar year are required to be covered with both disability insurance and PFL. If your employee does not work at least 40 hours, you may set up a voluntary PFL policy or you may add PFL to your existing voluntary disability policy.

Who pays for NYS PFL?

The program is paid for by employees through an additional payroll deduction that can begin on July 1, 2017. New York State dictates the rate of this deduction and can change it each year. For now, the rate will be .126% of the first $1,305.92 earned each week (max. deduction of $1.65 per week).

While on paid family leave, employees are compensated through the program and not by their employer.

Who is the premium paid to?

Your disability insurance carrier will also be your carrier for PFL. The PFL premium will be paid when your disability premium is due.

Can I set this up if my employee does not work 40 or more hours per week?

You can purchase a voluntary PFL policy or you may add PFL to your existing voluntary disability policy. You can request a quote through our insurance department.

My employee works 40+ hours per week and I want her to be eligible for PFL but I do not have a disability policy set up. What should I do?

Household employers in New York State are required to have a disability policy when an employee works 40 or more hours per week. You can request a quote through our insurance department.

I have a disability policy and want my employee covered for PFL. Can I pay this for her instead of deducting it from her pay?

Yes. If you do not deduct the amount from your employee’s paycheck, then you will pay the cost on your employee’s behalf. You should contact your disability insurance policy administrator to find out how you would make a payment for the PFL policy.

Am I required to deduct the NYS PFL from my employee?

Technically, you are not. However, you will still need to pay the premium to your insurance carrier. If you do not deduct the amount from your employee’s pay, then you will pay the cost on your employee’s behalf. If you would prefer this method, please let us know as soon as possible so we can stop the deduction from your employee’s pay.

I’m a GTM client but do not have disability insurance through GTM. What should I do?

If you do not have disability insurance through GTM Payroll Services, we will not be able to automatically make this deduction for you. If you have a policy that is not administered by GTM, contact us at [email protected] and we can set up the deduction.

I’m a GTM client with disability insurance through GTM. Is there anything I need to do?

PFL will be added to your existing disability policy and invoiced along with your disability insurance bill. The funds withdrawn from your employee’s paycheck for PFL will remain in your bank account, allowing you to accrue the funds to pay the PFL premium when it’s due.

GTM is automatically processing this new deduction for you. Beginning with their first paycheck after July 1, 2017, your employees will see the additional deduction from their pay to cover PFL. If you would prefer to pay your employee’s PFL deduction, please let us know as soon as possible so we can stop the deduction from your employee’s pay.

Whether or not you’re a GTM client, call us at (800) 929-9213 with any questions. Or visit the New York State Paid Family Leave program website for more information.

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