NEW YORK PAID FAMILY LEAVE LAW
Eligible employees will be able to take NYPFL to take care of a seriously ill family member, to bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child, or for military exigency, as defined by the federal FMLA rules.
The New York Disability Benefits Law (NYDBL) was amended to include paid family leave for New York workers beginning January 1, 2018.
Full time employees will be eligible for coverage after 26 weeks of consecutive employment. Part-time employees will be eligible after 175 days of employment. The benefit structure for this particular benefit will roll out over the next couple of years. For 2018, the benefit structure will begin at 50% of the average weekly wage and will become final at 67% in 2021.
EMPLOYEE PAID VIA PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS
Employees will pay for the program through payroll deduction. Please note that NYPFL benefits are funded by employees through payroll deductions and that employers are not required to contribute, although they may.
The State of New York has determined the maximum amount of employee contribution for 2018. The rate is based on the percentage of an employee’s compensation and is set at 0.126% of the weekly wage. The total cost capped by reference to New York State’s current average weekly wage which is $1,305.92. The cost per employee, for the 2018 plan year, will be capped at $1.65 per week.
Please also note that the NYPFL rules allow for employers to begin payroll deductions as of July 1, 2017. While policies do not go in to effect until January 1, the State allows for early payroll deductions to “pre-fund” the policy. However, many employers are waiting to receive final guidance from the State and their carriers before instituting a payroll deduction, with many choosing to deduct payrolls beginning in January.
EMPLOYER & CARRIER ACTION ITEMS
We have been informed by the various disability carriers that, likely, they will add a NYPFL Rider to existing NYDBL (statutory short-term disability) policies.
While additional guidance is expected from the State, in the meantime, employers are encouraged to determine their obligations related to NYPFL and to implement the proper procedures and policies to ensure a smooth transition. Further, employers should determine the cost of the coverage and additional information necessary to implement this benefit. Innovative can reach out to the NY Disability Carriers on your behalf and have for most of our clients to determine how the 2018 Plan Year policy will be implemented.
If you are unsure about whether you are a “covered employer” for purposes of this benefit, please contact us so that we may provide you with more information to make that determination. For the most part, employers with one or more employees working in the State of New York, are considered covered under this rule.
If you would like to discuss this particular benefit (or any other state mandated benefits, like NYDBL) for your New York employees, please do not hesitate to contact our office.