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New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

New York Paid Family Leave

Starting January 1, 2018, staff may be eligible for up to eight weeks of compensation, benefits, and job-protected leave to care for covered family members for certain purposes. Both the duration and benefit amounts increase annually through January 2021. The New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) law was enacted as part of New York State’s Statutory Disability Benefits Law (“NY DBL”).

Eligibility

Employees who work in New York will become eligible for NY PFL benefits as follows:

  • If the employee’s work schedule is 20 or more hours per week, the employee will become eligible to receive NY PFL benefits once the employee has been in employment of the Company for at least 26 consecutive work weeks preceding the first full day leave begins.

 

  • If the employee’s work schedule is fewer than 20 hours per week, the employee will become eligible to receive NY PFL benefits during employment once the employee has been in employment of the Company for 175 days preceding the first full day leave begins.

 

New York State has excluded the following groups of employees from coverage for this benefit:

  • Executive officers
  • College faculty

Purposes of NY PFL

An eligible employee may be entitled to benefits for NY PFL taken from work for the following qualifying events:

  1. Caring for a family member. To participate in providing care, including physical or psychological care for a family member of the employee made necessary by a serious health condition of the family
  1. Bonding with a new child. For the employee to bond with the employee’s child:

         A. During the first 12 months after the child’s birth

         B. During the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption or foster care

         C. Before the actual placement or adoption of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement for adoption or foster care to proceed

  1. For a military exigency. Due to any qualifying exigency pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), arising out of active duty or an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for the spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent of the

The following terms have the meanings set forth in the NY PFL law:

  • Child means a biological, adopted, or foster son or daughter, a stepson or daughter, a legal ward, a son or daughter of a domestic partner, or the person to whom the employee stands in loco parentis (e., in the place of).
  • Family member means a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, or domestic partner.
  • Parent means biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a parent in law, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or other person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a
  • Providing care includes necessary physical care, emotional support, visitation, assistance in treatment, transportation, arranging for a change in care, assistance with essential daily-living matters, and personal attendant services. The employee must be in close and continuing proximity to the care recipient. This means present at the same location as the family member during the majority of the employment period from which leave has been taken. Travel necessitated for the purpose of securing medication or to arrange care for the family member, or other such deviations determined to be reasonably related to providing care, shall satisfy this
  • Serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care

If a child was born, adopted, or placed in 2017, an employee may take NY PFL to bond with that child for up to one year after birth, adoption, or placement. In addition, employees may take NY PFL starting January 1, 2018, to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to address a qualifying military exigency.

Benefit Amounts

NY PFL benefits are scheduled to increase on January 1 of each year through January 1, 2021. The schedule for the increases is below:

 

Year

# Weeks of Leave

Benefit Amount: % of Employee Average Weekly Wage

Maximum Benefit is subject to the Following %

Cap on State Average Weekly Wage

1/1/2018

8

50%

50%

1/1/2019

10

55%

55%

1/1/2020

10

60%

60%

1/1/2021

12

67%

67%

 

The consecutive 52-week period is measured retroactively with respect to each day for which NY PFL benefits are claimed. A single claim may not cover more than 52 weeks.

The benefit rate for an employee’s period of NY PFL is the rate and benefit that is in effect on the first day NY PFL is taken.

An employee who is eligible for both NY DBL benefits and NY PFL benefits during the same 52 consecutive calendar weeks shall not receive more than 26 total weeks of combined DBL benefits and PFL benefits during that time.

Waivers of NY PFL coverage

In most cases, employees are not allowed to waive coverage in the NY PFL program. The only exception is if (1) an employee’s schedule is 20 hours or more per week but the employee is not expected to work 26 weeks in a 52-consecutive-week period or (2) the employee’s schedule is

fewer than 20 hours per week and the employee is not expected to work 175 days in a 52- consecutive-week period. If an employee meets either of those conditions, Sarah Lawrence will provide the employee with a waiver form for NY PFL benefits.

Interaction of NY PFL with other laws

Employees may not use NY PFL while they are collecting either workers’ compensation or College disability benefits.

Employees are eligible for a total of 26 weeks of combined College disability leave and NY PFL, although the leaves may not be taken at the same time.

If an employee is eligible for leave under the FMLA, the College requires that NY PFL benefits be taken concurrently with FMLA benefits.

Intermittent leave

NY PFL may be used on an intermittent-leave basis in increments of no less than one work day. If an employee works any part of a day, he or she is not eligible for NY PFL for that day.

As discussed further below, employees are required to identify the dates for intermittent leave in their NY PFL request. If dates are not provided, payment may be delayed until the dates are submitted. Employees must submit requests for NY PFL benefits within 30 days of the absence.

Interaction with employer paid time off policies

Employees who have accrued but unused vacation time or personal leave available may charge all or part of a period of family leave to accrued but unused vacation or personal leave and receive full salary. Or, employees may choose not to charge family leave time to accrued but unused vacation or personal leave and receive the NY PFL benefit.  With the election of either option, the employee is eligible for the job reinstatement protections of the NY PFL.

Employee notice requirements

  • Foreseeable leave. Employees must provide the College no fewer than 30 days’ notice if they foresee the need for the leave. If notice for foreseeable leave is not provided 30 days in advance, the leave may be denied for up to 30 days after the notice is provided.
  • Unforeseeable leave. If the need for the leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide advance notice as soon as practicable.
  • Intermittent leave. Employees are required to submit a schedule for foreseeable intermittent leave in their request for NY PFL benefits, and NY PFL benefits may be withheld until such schedule is submitted. If the need for intermittent leave is not foreseeable, employees are required to provide advance notice to the employer as soon as practicable once the need for leave becomes foreseeable.
  • Employees are required to advise the Company of any change in the timing and/or duration of NY PFL. Such notice should be provided as soon as practicable.

Content of notice. The content of the notice to the College must include:

  • Sufficient information to make the College aware of the qualifying event and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave
  • The type of family leave (i.e., bonding, care for family member, or military exigency).

 

The NY PFL law requires that when an employee seeks leave for the first time for a qualifying event, that employee need not expressly assert rights under the NY PFL law or even mention family leave.

Absent unusual circumstances, in order to properly provide notice, employees should do both of the following:

  • Notify his/her manager and

 

  • Notify Human Resources.

Further, an employee must submit a request for NY PFL leave and certification within 30 days of taking the leave to be eligible for benefits under the NY PFL law.

Employees of the College should provide written notice of their need for NY PFL to Lina Ferrito at cferrito@sarahlawrence.edu

NY PFL request and certification forms

Forms to request NY PFL (“Request”) and certification/documentation forms (“Certification”) to support the need for NY PFL are available through Human Resources

A portion of the Request must be completed by the employee and also by the College. Once you have completed the employee section of the NY PFL Request, please submit the form to Lina Ferrito for completion by the College.

As detailed in the certification forms, employees must submit the following certification and/or documentation to support Requests for NY PFL for the following reasons:

  • Bonding leave: An employee must provide verification of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster placement.
  • Care for a family member: An employee must submit a medical certification from the family member’s health care provider.
  • Military exigency leave: An employee must submit a copy of the family member’s military orders and other documentation regarding the reasons for the leave.

 Health insurance

During periods, intermittent or continuous, of PFL, the College will continue to pay its portion of the health insurance premium and the employee on leave will be required to remit their portion of their monthly payment to Human Resources..

Job protection/No retaliation or discrimination

Upon returning from NY PFL, an employee is entitled to reinstatement to his/her prior job position or to a comparable position with comparable pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. In addition, an employee may not be disciplined or retaliated against for requesting NY PFL or for absences that are covered under the NY PFL law.