New York’s landmark paid family now in effect

By Clarissa Rodriguez *

Millions of New Yorkers are now eligible for job protected, paid time off to care for their families under New York’s new Paid Family Leave, the strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave in the nation. The new law, championed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, protects the wages and job security for employees who need personal time to bond with a new child; care for a family member with a serious health condition (residing in New York or elsewhere); or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. This means people can be with their families when they are needed most, without putting their financial security at risk.

Strong benefits and protections

In this first year, if you are an eligible employee, you can take up to eight weeks of leave and receive 50% of your average weekly wage, capped at 50% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). Benefits will increase through 2021 when Paid Family Leave is fully phased.

In addition to wage and time off benefits, Paid Family Leave has strong protections to ensure you do not lose your job if you take it. The law also says employers can’t dis- criminate or retaliate against you for requesting or taking Paid Family Leave. This is a benefit – and a right –  that   New   Yorkers   should take advantage of when you need it.

Most employees who work in New York for private employers are covered, and your citizenship and/or immigration status does not matter. There are some eligibility requirements around time-worked: full-time employees who work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible to take Paid Family Leave after 26 consecutive weeks of employment, while part-time employees who regularly work less than 20 hours a week are eligible after working 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive.

If you are a public employee, your employer may voluntarily opt in to provide the benefit, and partici- pation may also be subject to union negotiations.

No cost to employers

For employers, Paid Family Leaveprovides a new way to manage employee leave situations without increasing costs. Workers fully pay for this benefit through a small weekly payroll deduction. In 2018, that contribution is 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage, capped at an annual maximum of $85.56. So an employee who earns $27,000 in 2018 ($519 a week), will pay about 65 cents per week. The employer’s insurance carrier, not the employer, will then process and pay claims

Resources  for employers and workers

As employers implement this important new benefit, New York is here to help, with many easy-to-use resources available at Leave. Workers can also access the website for complete details on the benefit and how to apply, along with Paid Family Leave request forms in multiple languages.

Additionally, the state has set up a toll-free Paid Family Helpline at (844) 337-6303 to assist you with any questions, in your language. The Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm

Paid Family Leave is finally here in New York, and it’s yours to use when you need it – when your family needs you

Chair, NYS Workers’ Compensation Board

Le contenu intégral de cet article de l’édition du 14 mars 2018 de l’hebdomadaire Haïti Observateur se trouve en P. 15 à l’adresse suivante en format PDF :