Even though the new paid family leave program in New York State won’t begin until January 1, 2018, the Governor’s office is already outlining steps needed to move ahead with implementation. Several state agencies will be involved including the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health. The program will be run through the worker’s compensation system.
State agencies will have to write regulations to implement the program. Though the legislative language spells out details of the program, there are numerous particular issues that will have to be addressed. Some of those include how paid family leave works with paid vacation and sick time. It will also have to be clarified how it works with disability benefits for childbirth. Another issue is how and if workers can split the paid family leave, taking less than twelve weeks at one time and using the rest later.
All of these issues and more will be addressed by state agencies as they move ahead in developing plans for implementation and regulations. The advocacy coalition that supported the bill’s passage will continue to have dialogue and input with the Governor’s office and state agencies on these issues and others interested should seek input with the key staff persons involved in the implementation at the agencies.
Governor Cuomo’s Counsel, Alphonso David, has played a key role in coordinating advocacy for the program and has been given high marks by advocates for his support and accessibility.