New York State Legislature Passes Bill to Add Bereavement to Paid Family Leave

On June 20, 2018, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed a bill which proposes to amend the New York Paid Family Leave Act (NYPFL), by adding bereavement as a qualifying leave event. If signed into law by the Governor, the bereavement leave amendment would take effect on January 1, 2020, and would allow for taking bereavement leave up to the same maximum benefit as for other qualifying events, which is scheduled to reach 10 weeks in 2020.

Currently, under the NYPFL, eligible employees may take paid family leave for the following qualifying events: (1) to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition, (2) to bond with their newly born or adopted child, and (3) to attend to a qualifying exigency arising out of a family member’s military service. The amendment would add leave taken for the purposes of bereavement due to the death of a family member, as a qualifying event under the law. The bill provides that if paid family leave is used to take care of a family member and that family member passes away, any remaining paid family leave may be used as bereavement time. The amendment would require that in the case of family leave due to bereavement, notice shall be provided to an employer as soon as practicable.

We will continue to keep you updated as to the developments of this bill.