Five frequently asked questions about New York’s paid family leave program

Five frequently asked questions about New York’s paid family leave program

Over the last few weeks, we’ve posted about what paid family leave benefits are and how they could be a fit for your organization. One of the biggest changes coming in the paid family leave space is New York’s upcoming implementation of a mandatory program.

As of January 1, 2018, any private employer in New York state that provides Disability Benefits Law (DBL) coverage to New York-based employees will be required to provide PFL coverage. With New York’s program being one of the more robust, here are a few frequently asked questions to help you better understand the cost, how it works and how you could be impacted — even if your organization isn’t based in New York.

Are all New York employers required to provide PFL?
Private employers with New York-based employees that provide DBL coverage will be required to provide PFL coverage. This mandate also applies to employers that are not based in New York, but have remote employees working in the state that receive DBL coverage.

How is New York’s PFL program funded?
New York’s PFL program is entirely employee-funded through payroll deduction and employee’s participation is mandatory. It’s important to clarify that the rates for this coverage are determined by the state, not the employer.

Does New York’s PFL program replace the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
It doesn’t. PFL has different employee eligibility rules and employer requirements than the FMLA. However, there are many instances where the available leave types overlap which would allow PFL and FMLA to run concurrently.

How will the program be implemented?
New York’s PFL program is designed to be gradually implemented over the next four years, beginning January 1, 2018. An employee’s length of leave and benefit payout amount are set to gradually increase as the program matures.

How can I prepare for implementation?
Here are three key ways to prepare your organization for the upcoming implementation:

  • Update the company handbook to stay compliant with the new PFL regulations.
  • Communicate the changes to employees. The more proactive and transparent you can be about these changes, the better.
  • Stay up to date, as key details and decisions around this legislation are still being determined – even now. New York’s PFL page is a great resource for the latest information updates.

These questions can help you prepare for the new provisions and make sure your organization is set up for success. For additional information or resources, visit The Standard’s paid family leave website.

About guest blogger Breanna Scott
Breanna Scott, product and service management director with Standard Insurance Company (The Standard), guides the strategic development of The Standard’s product portfolio, including market analysis and product positioning. She leads the group insurance product team responsible for creating and refining The Standard’s employee benefits and voluntary product and service offerings.

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