New York State Paid Family Leave: The Facts

On July 19, 2017, New York State (NYS) released final implementing regulations confirming that employees who regularly work 20 hours or more each week will become eligible for NYS Paid Family Leave (PFL) after working 26 consecutive weeks for their covered employer. Employees who regularly work less than 20 hours per week become eligible on the 175th day of employment with a covered employer.

NYS’s 2016-2017 state budget included legislation that will provide full and part time employees with up to 12 weeks of PFL once it is phased in over a three year period. Eligible employees can use the leave for qualified reasons including:

  • Bonding with his/her child during the first year of birth or adoption
  • Taking family leave before adoptions or foster care placements in order to proceed, if required
  • Caring for a covered family member with a serious health condition
  • Dealing with certain needs or requirements arising when a covered family member is called to active military service

The insurance program which is similar to the NYS Disability Leave Insurance program, will be implemented in phases, beginning in January of 2018. Initially, eligible workers will be able to take up to eight weeks leave while receiving 50% of their weekly wage or 50% of the NYS average weekly wage (AWW), whichever is lower. The NYS AWW is currently $1,305.92. The number of weeks of leave available will be phased in over the next several years. The phase in schedule is below:

Year Weeks Available The Lesser of % of Employee Average Weekly Wage and the NYS AWW
2018 8 50%
2019 10 55%
2020 10 60%
2021 12 67%

PFL coverage will be included under the disability policy all employers must carry. The premium will be fully funded by employees through payroll deductions that began on July 1, 2017. The maximum rate of employees’ contribution will be established each year. The current payroll deduction is 0.126% of the employee’s weekly wage (capped at NYS AWW of $1,305.92). Therefore the maximum contribution is $1.65 per week. Employers are responsible for taking payroll deductions and remitting the premium to the carrier.

For additional factual information regarding PFL, click here.

If your business needs any additional guidance on PFL, please contact us.

Author: Lynn A. Eckhardt, CPA, ABV has been working with various farmers since joining MFB in 1999. In addition to assisting business and individuals with their tax return needs, Lynn also has experience with the preparation of fiduciary and gift tax returns. Contact her at