New York State has adopted a new Family Leave Law that is funded by payroll deduction from employees’ salaries and is mandatory regardless of the size of the employer. One supporting rationale has been that the United States is the only industrialized country in the world without paid family leave.
The New York State law becomes effective 2018 and provides eight weeks initially and builds up to twelve weeks by 2020. An employee will be eligible after only six months on the job. There are many, many questions unanswered that will await the availability of the entire legislation and then rules. Some of the unanswered questions are whether vacation and sick leave days must be taken before family paid leave? Will there be some carve out for small business? Do employee benefits continue to accrue during the time an employee is on paid leave? Can more than one dependent claim the family leave benefit for the same person? If the dependent is confined to a hospital, is leave available?
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing National legislation to provide this benefit on a National basis.
The Federal benefits will be the floor and the Federal costs the ceiling for State plans.
Stay tuned for more information that will be forthcoming as soon as the dust at the Legislative Session has settled.