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After 10 months of anticipation, on Wednesday, February 22, New York published proposed regulations for its Paid Family Leave law (NY PFL). Once fully implemented (by 2021), NY PFL will provide employees with the richest paid family leave benefit of any state so far: 12 weeks of leave at 67% of a worker’s salary to care for a family member with a serious health condition, to bond with a newborn or newly placed foster or adopted child, or due to a qualifying exigency arising from a family member’s military service. The PFL program begins January 1, 2018, providing eight weeks of benefits at 50% salary rate, and benefits increase in a phased approach over the next four years.

The proposed regulations provide clarification regarding:

  • employee eligibility;
  • employee contribution withholding;
  • the calculation of an employee’s average weekly wage necessary to determine benefit amounts;
  • sufficient documentation required to support the paid family leave benefit;
  • important definitions, such as “providing care” and “serious health condition”;
  • job protection and maintenance of health insurance benefits; and
  • other administrative requirements concerning notice, processing a claim, and payment of benefits.

New York has also launched the Paid Family Leave website, which can be accessed here. This website provides detailed information regarding NY PFL, the regulations, frequently asked questions, and encourages those interested to call the PFL hotline at (844) 337-6303 for additional assistance.

The Workers’ Compensation Board has announced that it is soliciting public comments on the proposed regulations until April 10, 2017. Comments may be submitted here, or by contacting Heather M. MacMaster, Deputy General Counsel, Workers’ Compensation Board, 328 State Street, Schenectady, New York 12305-2318, telephone: (518) 486-9564, email: regulations@wcb.ny.gov.

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has also published regulations regarding NY PFL and how it impacts insurers. These regulations can be found here and DFS is soliciting public comments until April 10, 2017, to these proposed regulations. Comments may be submitted by contacting Laura Evangelista at laura.evangelista@dfs.ny.gov.

ReedGroup is currently analyzing the proposed regulations and will consider submitting public comments, if appropriate. ReedGroup is also preparing to administer NY PFL for clients by 2018; please contact us for more information. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to get the latest groundbreaking news on leave laws.

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