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NYS Paid Family Leave Law Takes Effect January 2018

Are you prepared for the New York State Paid Family Leave Law that goes into effect on January 1, 2018?

New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (NYPFLBL) is an amendment to the New York Workers’ Comp Law (NYWCL) that will provide eligible employees with paid, job protected family leave benefits when they are unable to work due to a qualifying event. Qualifying events include caring for ill family members, child bonding, and qualifying military exigency.

All New York State private-sector employers, regardless of size, will be required to provide Paid Family Leave (PFL) to their eligible full-time and part-time employees. Full-time employees are eligible after 26 weeks of continuous employment and part-time employees are eligible after 175 days of work.

The new requirements are set to be phased in over a four (4) year period. The first phase will take effect on January 1, 2018, and the law is expected to be fully phased in by January 1, 2021. When fully phased in, covered employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Benefit amounts will be payable up to 67% of the employee’s average wages or the established State Average Weekly Wage (currently $1305.92), whichever is less. Payment of this PFL benefit is expected to be fully funded via employee payroll deductions.

The timeline for NYPFLBL is as follows:

The employee weekly premium rate for 2018 has been set at 0.126% of the employee’s wages, up to the established State Average Weekly Wage. The maximum weekly payroll deduction, using the current State Average Weekly Wage of $1,305.92, is $1.65.

Although the regulations are still in the proposal stage, the final rules are expected to be published in June 2017. Employers can start preparing now by ensuring the following systems are in place:


  • Payroll system set up for new deduction codes
  • Timekeeping system set up with additional time off codes
  • Leave tracking system to accommodate various leaves running concurrently

Vendor Partners

  • Brokers to assist with insurance decisions, carrier relationship, and set up
  • Understand Insurance Carrier requirements for claims and administration
  • Determine need for Third Party Leave administration due to anticipated increase in volume

Policies and Communications

  • Amendments to paid time off, leave of absence, and other time off policies
  • Paid Family Leave policy added to employee handbook
  • Employee education regarding the new law and deductions
  • Supervisor training

HR Works provides fully compliant leave administration services including the new NYPFLBL requirement. We will also offer training on the new NYPFLBL requirements in Fall 2017 after the final rule has been released. Training dates will be available in August. For more information, please call (877) 219-9062 or contact us today!

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.