Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bill to Add Bereavement to Paid Family Leave

On Friday night, Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature in June that would have added bereavement coverage to the state’s Paid Family Leave law.  That law went into effect one year ago on January 1, 2018 after being passed in 2016.   The bereavement leave would have allowed employees to access up to 12 weeks of paid leave.   Advocates who supported the original bill were opposed the bereavement bill passed because it had no cost estimates and that added costs could drag the entire program down which is paid for by workers through the New York State disability program.

A Better Balance, an organization that led the campaign for Paid Family Leave 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.


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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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