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New York Passes Revolutionary Family-Leave Policy


While many have looked to the recent presidential election as a sign of incoming political, social, and economic upheaval in America, an arguably larger and more important change for New Yorkers has come in the form of a finalized budget deal that mandates paid-family-leave time for most employees within the state. With this deal, New York has become the fifth state to require employers to provide employees with paid family leave.

Now, employers in the Empire State will be required to provide most employees, including both men and women, with up to 12 weeks of paid time off from a job to bond with a new child – including adopted children or foster children – or to care for a terminally ill parent, child, spouse, domestic partner, or other family member. This program provides employees with more paid family leave than any other state.

How Is This Different From the Family and Medical Leave Act?

While 12 weeks of leave is already provided to some workers under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), this federal law does not require employers to pay workers for any portion of this time – merely that their positions must be protected during their time away from work. Likewise, the FMLA excludes companies with fewer than 50 employees and is only offered to employees who have worked with a company for more than a year.

When Will Mandatory Paid Leave Take Effect?

Mandatory paid leave for New York workers will begin to be gradually rolled out in 2018. In 2018, workers will be provided with 8 weeks of paid leave a year, with these limits being increased to 10 weeks and 12 weeks in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Workers will initially only be paid for 50% of their average pay, with this limit increasing over four years to a cap of two-thirds of the state’s average weekly wage. In 2014, the New York average weekly wage was $1,266.44.

This law takes a major step in the right direction for parents’ rights and ushers in a new era of equality for workers throughout the state. For more information on this important topic or for assistance with a family-related legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC today. Having been providing ethical and trusted family law advocacy for more than 50 years combined, our team has what it takes to help you maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation.

Dial (845) 605-4330 or send us an email today to discuss your case.