The New York Workers Compensation Board has issued a proposed rule for implementation of the statewide Paid Family Leave Law (“PFLL”), which goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
As we previously reported, the PFLL will require employers to provide all eligible full- and part-time employees with paid, job-protected leave to: (i) care for a newborn or newly adopted or placed child; (ii) care for a family member with a serious medical condition; or (iii) deal with certain exigencies arising when a family member is called to active military service. The amount of leave and payment percentages available under the PFLL will be phased in, beginning in January 2018 with 8 weeks of paid leave at a rate of 50 percent of the individual’s average weekly wage (up to a designated cap), and culminating in 2021 with a requirement to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave at a rate of 67 percent of the individual’s average weekly wage (again subject to a cap). The program will be funded entirely through employee payroll deductions.
The Workers Compensation Board’s proposed rule—which is subject to a 45 day comment period before final publication—addresses a range of issues regarding the implementation of the PFLL that were left unanswered by the statutory text. Perhaps most helpful for employers, the proposed rule fills in many of the blanks regarding how paid family leave (“PFL”) will interact with leave otherwise covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for several covered purposes, three of which—caring for a newborn or newly adopted or placed child, caring for a family member with a serious medical condition, and managing military service-related exigencies—are also covered under the PFLL. Notably, however, while the federal FMLA requires unpaid leave for an employee’s own serious medical condition, New York’s PFLL will not apply to such leave (although leave for an employee’s own medical condition may be covered under the New York Short Term Disability law).
Among the highlights of the proposed rule:
Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted through April 10, 2017. Comments may be submitted online.
Along with the issuance of the proposed rule, the state has also launched a new website highlighting key details of the PFLL for both employers and employees. The state has also implemented a Paid Family Leave Helpline (1-844-337-6303) to answer questions about the program.
This article was originally published at Proskauer.