The New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) law has been in effect for over a month, yet reports indicate that many New York employers are not prepared for the operation requirements of the law. The basics of the law shouldn’t be news to employers with employees in New York. The NY PFL law provides employees with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or due to a qualifying exigency that arises when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. If you need a refresher on the law’s basics, review this NY PFL At-A-Glance and watch Jackson Lewis’s recorded webinar.

As employees are beginning to request NY PFL benefits, many employers find they still have questions, or didn’t quite prepare to implement the new law. One survey found that less than a third of employers surveyed were adequately prepared by January 1, 2018 to offer NY PFL benefits to their workforce. This means most employers need a NY PFL check-up. It’s not too late for employers to check in and reassess their NY PFL preparedness.

Use this check list to conduct an employer self-assessment to determine NY PFL compliance preparedness.

We are also offering some FAQs for those NY PFL questions that are beginning to arise, or that employers may not even realize they have yet! Did you know:

  • an employee may receive New York City’s Earned Sick Time and NY PFL benefits concurrently? If the employee is eligible for sick time and NY PFL benefits, the leave reason qualifies under both laws, such as to care for a family member, and the employer’s policy allows an employee to elect to use accrued sick time to receive full pay during family leave then an employee can receive the two benefits simultaneously.
  • the minimum weekly benefit payment is $100? Or, if an employee’s weekly pay at the time of NY PFL leave is less than $100, the NY PFL benefit must in the amount of that weekly pay.
  • if an employee returns NY PFL certification forms late, the request for benefits cannot be denied? Rather, benefits are not required to be paid for any period more than two weeks prior to the date on which the employee provided the required forms.
  • if two family members work for the same employer and are eligible for NY PFL benefits, they can both receive benefits and take time off? However, an employer can allow only one employee at a time to bond with the same child or care for the same family member.
  • if an employee requests FMLA leave for a reason that also qualifies under NY PFL, such as to care for a family member, an employer can require that the employee’s NY PFL benefits run concurrently. This avoids stacking of leave where an employee first requests FMLA leave and then requests NY PFL leave and benefits after FMLA entitlement exhaust

Remember, NY PFL benefits increase over the next four years so employers should continue to refine their policies and processes to stay current with this evolving law. Jackson Lewis can help employers coordinate NY PFL policies and administration with other employer benefits and federal, state, and local paid and unpaid leave laws as well as navigate the nuances of the NY PFL law.