A Better Balance, one of the key organizations which mobilized support for New York’s Paid Family Leave law has announced it opposes legislation passed in June to add bereavement leave to the program. While the organization is sympathetic to bereavement leave needs, it feels that the bill passed has no cost estimates and that it could drag the entire program down which is paid for by workers through the New York State disability program. A Better Balance noted that there is no state or city in the country which has paid bereavement leave paid for by workers. The state of Oregon and the city of Tacoma, Washington have laws that employees can use up to five days of paid sick leave which is paid by employers.
The state’s paid family leave program is being phased in and by 2021 will provide up to 12 weeks of paid time at up to 2/3 of salary to a statewide average for persons caring for a newborn, a seriously ill relative or to care for family members because of military deployment.
Other organizations which worked for the current law are also concerned about the bereavement bill. The current program went into effect in January 2018. Governor Cuomo has not yet received the bill from the Legislature and probably won’t before the primary on September 13. He would have ten days to sign or veto it.