States are stepping up to fill the gaps by providing job-protected leave to many workers left out of the FMLA. Some states have extended leave to employees of small businesses with less than 50 employees. Other states have reduced the duration and hours worked requirements in their state leave laws, while still others have done away with these requirements completely.
At A Better Balance, we run a free and confidential hotline answering workers’ questions about New York’s paid family leave law. We hear from a lot of New Yorkers eager to get the family leave they need and we often hear the same questions from multiple callers.
Here are some frequently asked questions from the past month:
- Can I use paid family leave to care for my loved one who lives outside of New York?
Yes. You can take paid family leave to care for a loved one who lives in another state or another country. Providing care can include traveling to your family member and traveling to bring them to New York, securing their medication, or making arrangements for their care.
- Can I use paid family leave to recover from my own serious health condition?
No. You can take paid family leave to care for a covered family member with a serious health condition, but you may not use it to recover from your own serious health condition. However, you may have rights under other laws. If you are unable to work due an illness or injury that occurred off the job, you may be eligible for disability benefits. You may also have rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- Does my employer have to hold my job for me while I’m on paid family leave?
Yes. You have the right to return to work, either to the same job you had before you took leave or to a similar job with similar pay, benefits, and status. If you receive healthcare coverage through your employer, you have the right to keep your healthcare coverage under its current conditions.
Have more questions about New York paid family leave? Visit us online at FamilyLeaveWorks.org or call our free and confidential hotline at 1-833-NEED-ABB.
For all other work-family questions both in New York and beyond, please call our general legal helpline at (212) 430-5982 or 615-915-2417 in our Southern office.