United States: Regulations Under The New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Law Take Effect

Last Updated: September 15 2017
Article by George P. Barbatsuly and Laura Scully

After much anticipation, the New York State Department of Labor recently finalized the regulations accompanying the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law ("PFL Law"). Although the law becomes effective on January 1, 2018, employers subject to the law should start preparing accordingly. The PFL Law will cover most private employers in New York, with few exceptions, and it will provide wage replacement and job protection to employees who need time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or assist when a qualifying family member has been called to active military duty. New York State has made available on its website fact sheets for employers here and for employees here highlighting the law's key provisions.

In addition to familiarizing themselves with the PFL Law's requirements, covered employers should also be mindful of the newly finalized regulations, which cover a range of important issues, including the following:

  • Collections—covered employers may, but are not required to, start collecting weekly employee contributions starting July 1, 2017.
  • Notifications—if a covered employer has written policies or guidance (e.g., a handbook) on employee benefits or leave, information on and employee obligations under the PFL Law must be included in the written policies or guidance.
  • If a covered employer does not have such written policies or guidance, the employer must give employees written guidance on their rights and obligations under the PFL Law, including information on how to file a claim for benefits.

    Covered employers must also display or post, and keep posted, in a conspicuous location a printed notice concerning the PFL Law in a form officially prescribed, which has yet to be issued.

  • Waiver of PFL benefits for certain employees—in limited circumstances, the law allows employees to opt out of the protections of the law if their regular schedule is (1) 20 hours or more per week, but they will not work 26 consecutive weeks; or (2) fewer than 20 hours per week, but they will not work 175 days in a consecutive 52-week period. Any such waiver must be in writing, signed, and retained by the employer. The waiver expires after any change to the employee's regular work schedule that requires him or her to continue working for 26 consecutive weeks or 175 days in a consecutive 52-week period.
  • An employee whose waiver has been revoked must start making contributions towards PFL benefits, including any retroactive amounts due from the date of hire, as soon as the employee is notified by the employer of such requirements.

  • Maximum benefits—the regulations address the maximum available weekly leave and daily leave and offer examples of daily leave and instructions on how to calculate the rate for daily leave.
  • Leave to care for a family member with a "serious health condition"—the regulations define "serious health condition" as "an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider." The regulations exclude from this definition routine examinations, cosmetic treatments, and certain types of common ailments (e.g., the common cold, flu, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraine, and routine dental or orthodontic problems). The regulations also require the employee to be in close and continuing proximity to the care recipient and provide examples of what providing care may involve.
  • Leave to bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child—for leave taken for adoption or foster care, the regulations provide that such leave may be taken before the actual placement or adoption of a child in certain situations and expires at the end of the consecutive 52-week period starting on the placement date or the first day leave is taken. For leave for birth, the regulations note that such leave expires at the end of the consecutive 52-week period starting on the date of birth.
  • Interaction with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—the regulations require covered employers to notify eligible employees when PFL leave is concurrently designated as FMLA leave and provide notice required under the FMLA. If employers fail to do so, they are considered to have allowed the eligible employee to take PFL leave without simultaneously using FMLA leave.
  • The regulations also provide that if an employer designates a period of FMLA leave as leave covered by the PFL Law, and so informs the employee of that designation, then the employer and its insurance carrier may count the leave against the employee's maximum duration of family leave in a 52-week period under the PFL Law if the employee declines to apply for PFL leave.

    Further, the regulations state that where an eligible employee takes FMLA in less than full-day increments, the employer may deduct one day of PFL benefits from the employee's annual leave entitlement when the total hours taken for FMLA leave in less than full-day increments reaches the number of hours in the employee's usual work day.

  • Processing requests for PFL leave—employees seeking PFL leave must complete a form to request leave, and once the employer receives it, the employer must fill out the employer information portion and return it to the employee within three business days. The regulations provide that the employee is then to submit the request for PFL leave, along with any necessary certifications or documentation, to the carrier or self-insured employer. The regulations allow for receiving requests for PFL benefits in advance of the occurrence of a foreseeable qualifying event.

In light of these finalized regulations, employers should consider taking the following steps:

  • Contact their current New York disability benefits insurance carrier to learn more about securing PFL coverage, including the amount of the premium.
  • Identify any employees who may be eligible for a waiver, notify them in writing of their waiver options, and collect and retain any waiver forms signed by the employees.
  • Update any relevant written policies or guidance to account for the PFL Law, or otherwise draft guidance on employees' rights and obligations under the PFL Law.
  • Ensure that FMLA notification requirements are being fulfilled and there is an appropriate form to notify employees of the concurrent designation of FMLA and PFL leave.
  • Plan for conspicuously displaying or posting the required notice on the PFL Law.
  • Put in place internal procedures for completing the employer part of the employees claim form for PFL benefits.
  • Ensure human resources and other personnel responsible for managing compliance with the PFL Law are appropriately trained on the new law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Emails

From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.