New York Issues Final Paid Family Leave Regulations


Regulations Currently in Effect

New York has issued final regulations for its Paid Family Leave (PFL) law. Highlights of the regulations are presented below.

Employee Eligibility

The regulations (§ 380-2.5) clarify that an employee (of a covered employer) whose regular employment schedule is 20 or more hours per week will become eligible to take PFL if he or she has been employed for at least 26 consecutive work weeks preceding the first full day family leave begins. Click here for additional information on periods of employee eligibility.

An employee whose regular employment schedule is less than 20 hours per week will become eligible to take PFL after working 175 days (i.e., after the 175th day workednot after 175 calendar days of employment) preceding the first full day the leave begins.

Employer Notice and Posting Requirements

If a covered employer maintains written guidance for employees concerning employee benefits or leave rights (e.g., in an employee handbook), then information concerning PFL (and employee obligations under PFL) must be included in the handbook or other written guidance.

If a covered employer does not have written policies, manuals, or handbooks describing employee benefits and leave, the employer must provide written guidance to each of its employees concerning the employee’s rights and obligations under PFL, including information on how to file a PFL claim.

Every covered employer must display or post a notice concerning PFL (in a form expected to be prescribed by the state). The notice must be displayed in plain view where all employees and/or applicants can readily see it.

Employee Waiver

An employee of a covered employer must be provided the option to file a waiver (§ 380-2.6) of family leave benefits when his or her regular employment schedule meets certain conditions. The covered employer must keep a copy of the fully executed waiver for as long as the employee remains in employment.

Background

The New York PFL law will be phased in beginning January 1, 2018 and will apply to employers of all business sizes. When the law is fully phased-in over the next several years, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave when certain life events occur.

Additional details are contained in the text of the regulations. While the regulations are currently in effect, the PFL law will not be phased in until January 1, 2018.