As of january 1, 2018, New York will have its new Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFLBL) go into effect. Employees working for New York companies are entitled to a partial salary replacement, should they take leave for a number of situations. Those include assisting their family when another family member is deployed by the military, caring for a seriously ill close relative or bonding with a newly born, adopted or fostered child. As far as benefits are concerned, the companies are not required to pay for the employee’s partial salary replacement benefits. Employers, instead, can obtain insurance from the carrier that is providing legally required disability coverage. The premiums can be deducted from the employees’ paychecks.
While many employers have already begun implementing this process—including deducting premiums from employee paychecks since the start of July—there are other aspects that must also be addressed to prepare prior to 2018. Here are three ways to be proactive.
Get your dates in order.
While New York’s PFLBL goes into effect on January 1, 2018, there is another date to keep in mind prior to that one. Employers should be getting the process in place, and permitted to start making payroll deductions on July 1, 2017, which should have already been ready to start deducting premiums on July 31, 2017. Any employer who chooses to self-insure the employee on paid family leave must do so by September 30, 2017 as well as post additional security as comply with other regulatory requirements.
Inform your employees.
Under the PFLBL, employers must post notices informing employees of their rights and obligations under the new law.
Know the differences between PFLBL and FMLA.
New York’s Paid Family Leave Benefits Law and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 are two different laws with different requisites. PFLBL kicks in after 26 weeks on the job (for employees who regularly work 20 or more hours per week or for those employees with a regular work schedule but less than 20 hours per week); FMLA after one year. PFLBL doesn’t apply to an employee’s serious health conditions, and instead, to the caring for a close relative’s serious health condition. FMLA applies to employees with serious health conditions. PFLBL and FMLA can overlap but the employee can’t exceed 12 weeks of PFLBL leave in a given year.
The key is to be prepared. 2018 is coming sooner than you think.