On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York’s Paid Family Leave Act (NYPFL) that would provide paid leave benefits to employees who needed to take a leave of employment due to family issues. Employees were eligible if they worked for a private employer in New York State (NYS) and regularly worked 20 hours or more per week for 26 consecutive weeks or regularly worked less than 20 hours per week for 175 days.
An eligible employee could take paid family leave for one of the following reasons:
To bond with a newly-born, adopted or foster child;
To care for a close relative with a serious health condition; or
To assist when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.
The Family Leave Act was phased in over a four-year period starting January 1, 2018, and on January 1, 2021 eligible employees may be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid benefits in any 52-week period at 67% of their average weekly rate. That amount cannot exceed 67% of the NYS average weekly wage.
New York Paid Family Leave is insurance that may be funded by employees through payroll deductions or an employer may choose to pay for the benefit for employees. Each year, the Department of Financial Services sets the employee contribution rate to match the cost of coverage. In 2020, the employee contribution rate was 0.270% ($0.27/$100) of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. For 2021 the employee contribution rate will be 1.26% ($0.51/$100).
Below is a comparison of the leave benefits from 2020 to 2021.
NEW YORK PAID FAMILY LEAVE IN 2020 vs. 2021
2020: Duration – maximum 10 weeks
2021: Duration – maximum 12 weeks
2020: Weekly Benefit – 60% of AWW
2021: Weekly Benefit – 67% of AWW
2020: Maximum benefit: $840.70
2021: Maximum benefit: $971.61
2020: $72,860.84 annual wage cap*
2021: $75,408.84 annual wage cap*
2020: $1,401.17 average weekly wage**
2021: $1,450.17 average weekly wage **
2020: Premium rate: $.27/$100 of total weekly payroll
2021: Premium rate: $.511/$100 of total weekly payroll
2020: Max annual employee premium deduction - $196.72
2021: Max annual employee premium deduction - $385.34
*The annual wage cap represents the wages reported per employee, not to exceed this amount per calendar year. Once the employee hits the annual wage cap, deductions should stop.
**According to the New York State Department of Labor, the NY average weekly wage will be $ 1,450.17.
While New York Paid Family Leave is not typically available for an employee’s own illness, if you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, New York State Department of Health, local Board of Health, or other authorized government entity you may be eligible for job-protected sick leave and compensation through a combination of disability and Paid Family Leave benefits. Contact your HR professional to determine if you qualify for leave under this program.
For more information go to the New York State Paid Family Leave website at: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/