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Paid Family Leave in New York State

What does the paid family leave law do for adoptive and foster parents?

The law guarantees parents time off to bond with a new child, including adopted and foster children. This time can also be used to care for a seriously ill family member (including an adopted or foster child) or to address certain military family needs.

Am I covered?

If you’re employed outside the government in New York State, either full-time or part-time, you’re probably covered under the law, regardless of how many people work for your employer. The law applies regardless of immigration or citizenship status.

When can adoptive and foster parents take bonding leave?

Adoptive and foster parents have the right to take bonding leave at any point within the first 12 months following a child’s placement for adoption or foster care. If you welcomed a new child before January 1, 2018, you can still take paid family leave after January 1, so long as you take your leave within 12 months of the child’s placement.

You also may be able to take paid family leave prior to a child’s formal placement to facilitate the adoption, such as to meet with an attorney or social worker or travel to another country to complete the adoption. If a child has two parents, each parent (of any gender) has the right to up to eight weeks of paid family leave.

What family members can leave be taken to care for?

You can take paid family leave to care for your child, parent, parent-in-law, spouse (including a same-sex spouse), domestic partner, grandchild, or grandparent when that person has a serious health need. These needs can include a serious physical or mental illness, injury, or condition.

What types of child-parent relationships are covered under the law?

Under the law, your child includes your biological, adoptive, or foster child, as well as your legal ward, your stepchild, the child of your domestic partner, or a child to whom you stand in loco parentis (a phrase that means you have taken on the role and responsibilities of a parent, even if you do not have a biological or legal relationship with the child).

How much paid family leave can I take?

In 2018, can take up to eight weeks of family leave. In 2019, you can take up to ten weeks of family leave.

How much of my paycheck can I get while I am on paid family leave?

In 2018, you can receive half (50%) of your average weekly pay, up to about $650 per week. In 2019 you can receive 55% of your average pay, up to $746.41 per week. In following years, you’ll be eligible to receive a greater percentage of your pay while on leave.

Will my job be protected while I am on leave?

Yes. You have the right to return to work. If you receive healthcare coverage through your employer, you also have the right to keep your healthcare coverage under its current conditions.

When can I begin taking paid family leave?

You can start receiving benefits six months after your start date. If you work less than 20 hours per week, you may need to work for slightly longer (175 days) to qualify.

Who pays for paid family leave?

Workers pay for paid family leave through small payroll deductions. For 2018, these deductions are no more than an average of $1.65 per week and many workers will pay less than that. For 2019, these deductions will be no more than an average of $2.08 per week.

Do I have any other rights?

You may also have rights related to your family needs under other laws. You can find out more about these rights here.


Call A Better Balance if you have any questions about your rights at work.

Our free hotline can provide you with information about your rights at work (or refer you to another attorney or legal organization in your area). The information provided here or in response to a Hotline inquiry does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If ABB chooses to represent you, then a retainer will be signed setting out the scope of the representation.

Call 1-833- NEED-ABB

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