Final regulations on NY Paid Family Leave (PFL) are expected to be released in June 2017 with an effective date of January 2018; however, there has recently been some information released that helps us answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Is PFL and DBL part of the same policy?
Yes, PFL is part of an employer’s DBL policy and must be through the same carrier unless an organization qualifies for stand-alone PFL, which would include DBL- exempt organizations only.

Who is eligible?
Part-time and full-time employees are eligible if they have a qualifying leave event. Part-time employees become eligible on the 175th day of employment, whereas full-time employees become eligible after 26 consecutive work weeks of employment. We are still waiting on final guidance about how eligibility will affect faculty.

What are the qualifying leave events?
The qualifying events include birth, adoption, foster care, caring for a sick family member, or leave for a qualifying exigency arising from the service of a family member in the U.S. armed forces.

What is the benefit?
In the first year of New York Paid Family Leave, eligible employees will receive 50% of their average weekly wage up to 50% of the statewide average weekly wage for up to 8 weeks of leave. When the program is fully phased in, the maximum benefit will be 67% of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to 67% of the statewide average weekly wage for up to 12 weeks of leave.

Who pays the premiums for the new coverage?
We are waiting on further guidance to determine if premiums can be paid by the employee, the employer, or both.

How does PFL integrate with existing disability benefits?
An employee is not able to receive both full disability benefits and paid family leave benefits at the same time. However, an employee may be able to supplement partial disability benefits with paid family leave benefits, up to the family leave benefit maximum, when combined with the partial disability benefit. No employee is entitled to more than 26 weeks of combined disability and family leave benefits during a 52-consecutive calendar week period.

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