New York Paid Family Leave Changes in 2019

As you are aware, effective January 1, 2018 New York State enacted New York Paid Family Leave (PFL). As part of the implementation, PFL benefits are phased in over a four-year period. 2019 will mark year two of the implementation and PFL benefits will be significantly enhanced.

Beginning January 1, 2019, the number of weeks eligible employees can take to bond with a new child, care for a sick family member, or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service increases to 10 weeks. The number of weeks employees can take will continue to rise through 2021, at which time employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid time off.

In addition, the Paid Family Leave wage replacement benefit is also increasing. In 2019, employees taking Paid Family Leave will receive 55% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 55% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,357.11. The maximum weekly benefit for 2019 is $746.41.

New York Paid Family Leave is insurance that may be funded by employees through payroll deductions. In 2019, the contribution is 0.153% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. The maximum annual contribution is $107.97. Employees earning less than the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,357.11 will contribute less than the annual cap of $107.97, consistent with their actual wages.

More information regarding the updates can be found on the New York State Government website found at: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/2019.