Paid Family Leave Benefits Expand in 2019 as Multi-Year Phase in Continues

New York’s paid family leave program has entered its second year and continues the phase in of benefits as well as length of time a worker can take the benefit. Starting January 1st, 2019, benefits expanded from 8 to 10 weeks of leave at 55% of wages up to $746.41 per week. The employee contribution goes up to a maximum of $2.08/week, and many workers will pay less than this amount. These benefits will grow and be further phased in until 2021 when they will reach 12 weeks of leave at 67% of  wages up to a cap.

The program provides job protection to return to the same or a comparable position.  There is also protection  against discrimination or retaliation for taking the leave and a continuation of  the same health insurance policy for workers taking paid family leave as long as employees continue paying their cost sharing.   For more detailed information on how the program works, here is a link to the state’s website  https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/

I am trying to get some data on the number of persons who used the program in 2018, the first year of operation.  It will be interesting to see how many persons used the benefit for caregiving for a sick relative as well as those using it for caring for a newborn and care when a family member went on a military assignment.    Paid family leave is also available for parents adopting a child and can be available for “pending” adoption when needs before the adoption require a parent to be out of work.