Paid Family Leave in New York State

Benefits start on January 1, 2018.

What does the paid family leave law do?

The law guarantees mothers time off to bond with a new child (including adopted and foster children); care for a seriously ill family member; or 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 moms take bonding leave?

Moms have the right to take bonding leave at any point within the first 12 months following a child’s birth or placement for adoption or foster care. If a child has two parents, each parent (of any gender) has the right to up to eight weeks of paid family leave. If you welcome 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 birth or placement.

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, you will be able to take up to eight weeks of family leave. Each year after that, the number of weeks available will be increased.

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

In 2018, you will receive half (50%) of your average weekly pay, up to about $650 per week. Each year after that, 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 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?

If you’ve worked for your employer for at least six months, you can start receiving benefits on January 1, 2018. Otherwise, you may 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 will be no more than $1.65 per week and many workers will pay less than that.

Is this different from temporary disability insurance (TDI)?

New York law also gives most workers the right to temporary disability insurance (TDI), sometimes known as disability benefits (DB). TDI gives you the right to partial wage replacement while you are unable to work due to an off-the-job illness or injury, including pregnancy-related disabilities and recovery from childbirth. If you gave birth, you may be able to receive TDI to recover from childbirth and then take paid family leave to bond with your child, though you cannot receive both benefits at the same time. Find out more about TDI here.

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. You may also have additional rights connected to pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, which you can learn more about 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.

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