What's On The Horizon: New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)

Posted by Lauren Osselton on Dec 5, 2017 11:41:32 AM
New York child looks through binoculars at the Empire State building

New York families have a new policy to look forward to, as New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL)’s effective date of January 1, 2018 rapidly approaches! That’s why we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about this new legislation, to bring you up to speed with everything it has to offer, as well as your requirements as an employer!

Stick with us as we fill you in on the details, including who is eligible for leave under NY PFL, what the qualifying reasons to take the leave are, and how the plan will roll out over the next four years.

An Overview of New York Paid Family Leave

NY PFL was designed in an effort to offer broad paid family leave benefits to employees of the state, utilizing New York’s existing Disability Benefits Law.

The policy will be funded through employee payroll deductions, with the option for employers to contribute, though that is not required. Additionally, the amount that the employee will be compensated for their paid leave, and the time they are entitled to take, will roll out over a 4-year period as follows:

  • 2018: 8 weeks of leave, at 50% of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 50% of state’s average weekly wage)
  • 2019: 10 weeks of leave, at 55% of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 55% of state’s average weekly wage)
  • 2020: 10 weeks of leave, at 60% of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 60% of state’s average weekly wage)
  • 2021: 12 weeks of leave, at 67% of of employee’s average weekly wage (cap at 67% of state’s average weekly wage)

Who Is Eligible?

Under the new policy, full time employees who have been employed for 26 weeks before the application date are eligible. For part-time employees, they must have been employed for 175 days prior, to be eligible.

There are also particular cases in which individuals are not eligible for NY PFL, including the following cases:

  • Employees who do not work within New York State
  • Employees who receive the full disability options under New York Workers’ Compensation, or through Volunteer Firefighter/Ambulance Workers’ benefits
  • 1099 Contractors
  • Employees that are on administrative leave from their place of employment
  • Employees who are currently receiving sick pay or PTO from their employer

What Are Acceptable Uses Of NY PFL?

Young mother on maternity leave holds her infant baby

The new policy is similar to many of its kind in terms of what reasons the person is able to claim the leave for. There are generally 3 acceptable reasons to take NY PFL:

  1. For the provision of care (whether physical or psychological) to family members that are suffering from a serious health condition
  2. For bonding with a newborn child, or placement of an adopted or foster child, during their first year
  3. For an FMLA-qualifying reason that arises from the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent being on active military duty, or being notified of an impending call to duty

What Are The Next Steps Employers Should Take?

With the effective date of the leave legislation looming, there are key next steps you should be taking to prepare for the change. Here’s what to do:

  1. Determine how you will be obtaining PFL coverage, whether that be through your insurance carrier or by self-insuring. Take note that if you are an employer that has a New York Disability Benefit Law (NY DBL) insurance policy, you will automatically have NY PFL included as of the effective date of January 1, 2018.
  2. Take a look at the current leave policies that you’re currently managing within your company, in order to see if this new benefit will impact or change any of the policies you currently implement.
  3. Take a look at the notice requirements for NY PFL, and ensure that you are prepared to implement those in order to maximize compliance.
  4. Inform your employees of the new policy, and update any written materials such as your employee handbook to reflect it.

These are just a few of the next steps you should be taking. We highly recommend that you take a look at the NY PFL Employer Checklist to ensure you are following each step you need to take to prepare.

We hope that this post helped prepare you for this new policy! Good luck in implementing these changes for the New Year! For more resources that can help you prepare, please see our resources section below. 

Take note, this policy will be integrated into Leave Genius!


  1. New York Paid Family Leave, Weekly Deduction Calculator
  2. New York Paid Family Leave, Employee Fact Sheet
  3. New York Paid Family Leave, Employer Checklist

This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Readers should consult legal counsel to discuss how these matters impact and relate to their individual circumstances.

Topics: Leave Management, Paid Family Leave

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