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New York Paid Family Leave: Here’s What You Need to Know

 

What is New York Paid Family Leave?

NY PFL is an insurance policy for employees who need job-protected paid time off due to one of the following events:

You need time to bond with your newborn baby, adopted or fostered child.

You need to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

You need to assist a relative while a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.

 

What are the PFL benefits for 2018 in New York?

In 2018, New York Paid Family Leave entitles you (after a qualifying event) to eight weeks of leave while receiving 50% of your average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW is based on the income of the eight weeks leading up to the start of your leave. The most you may receive is 50% of the NY State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW), whichever is less. The SAWW for 2018 is $1,305.92 which means the maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $652.96.

 

What is the New York State Average Weekly Wage?

The New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) will be recalculated each year. The SAWW for 2018 is $1,305.92 which means the maximum weekly benefit any employee on PFL can receive is $652.96.

 

Does my employer have to offer me Paid Family Leave?

If you work for a New York based private employer (meaning you don’t work for a state or local municipality) then yes, your employer must provide PFL insurance coverage.

 

Who pays for NY Paid Family Leave?

You (the employee) pay for these benefits with a small weekly payroll deduction.

 

How much will be withheld from my paycheck?

The 2018 payroll contribution is .126% of your weekly wage and is capped at an annual maximum of $85.56. If you earn less than the New York State Average Weekly Wage ($1,305.92 per week), you will have an annual contribution amount less than the cap of $85.56, consistent with your actual weekly wages. For example, in 2018 if you earn $27,000a year ($519 a week), you will pay 65 cents per week.

 

What if I don’t want to purchase NY PFL coverage?

Paid Family Leave is not optional for most employees. An exception is if an employee is eligible for a waiver. An employee is eligible for a waiver if they do not expect to work for the same employer long enough to meet the Paid Family Leave eligibility requirements.

If an employee works a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week, they are eligible for Paid Family Leave after working 26 consecutive weeks. If an employee works a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week, they are eligible after working 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive. Employers must offer a waiver to employees who regularly work 20 or more hours per week but won’t work 26 consecutive weeks, and those who regularly work less than 20 hours per week and will not work 175 days in a 52-week period. You can also get it here:  waiver.

 

What are my rights as an employee under the New York Paid Family Leave?

After a qualifying leave, PFL asserts that you can return to a comparable job if not the same one. You can keep your health insurance while you are on leave as long as you continue to pay your portion of the premium that would have otherwise been withheld from your paycheck had you remained working. Finally, you are protected from any retaliatory action made by your employer for utilizing your benefits.

 

How do I apply for NY Paid Family Leave?

  1. Notify your employer 30 days before you want to take leave, it is is foreseeable. Otherwise, notify them as soon as possible.
  2. Get a copy of the NY PFL form package that corresponds with the type of leave you need to take. Below are links to the forms or you may get them from your employer or insurance carrier.
    1. Form: Bonding Time with Newborn Baby, Adopted or Foster Child
    2. Form: Caring for a Family Member with a Serious Illness
    3. Form: Assist Loved One When Family Member is Deployed Abroad on Active Military Duty
  3. Complete the form and submit it to your employer for them to fill out their portion. They are required to return it to you in three business days.
  4. Submit the forms and supporting documents to your employer’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier must pay or deny your request within 18 days of receiving your completed request.

 

Who will pay me if I use NY PFL benefits?

The insurance company will pay you directly. They will not automatically withhold taxes even though the money is taxable income. You can request voluntary tax withholding. Either way, you will receive a 1099-G or 1099-misc form that will need to be accounted for when you file your taxes. *Note that these benefits are for a 52 week period so once you have utilized the maximum number of weeks, you cannot take PFL again for at least 52 weeks.

 

Will NY PFL benefits be the same next year?

No, several things will change:

  • SAWW – the New York State Average Weekly Wage will be recalculated each year.
  • # of Weeks – In the next three years, the number of weeks allowed with PFL will increase. In 2019, employees will be allowed up to 10 weeks and in 2021 that number of weeks will increase to 12.
  • % of SAWW – The percentage of the Average Weekly Wage that will be paid to employees taking Paid Family Leave will increase to 55% in 2019, 60% in 2020 and 67% in 2021.

 

 

 

For more information on disability benefits or New York Paid Family Leave, call the experts at Mills and Mills at 203-655-6974.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]