As we have seen with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), since its inception in the early 1990’s, there have been significant updates and changes to the law and requirements for employers and employees. Expanding coverage through legislation and court cases. In New York State, we will see updates and definitional changes with Paid Family Leave (remember the proposal for paid bereavement leave). The law is now in its second year since inception, remind employees that the rates and weeks will continue to increase for two more years.
Legal Area’s and Changes to Remember and Communicate (2020 will be more changes):
- Employees have job protection, similar to FMLA
- Right to keep their health insurance while on leave
- No retaliation or discrimination against those who take leave
- Citizenship is never a factor in eligibility for NYSPFL
- Leave started in 2018 and roles into 2019, the employee receives the benefit rate and number of weeks in effect on the first day of leave.
- Intermittent leave from 2018 to 2019 follows similar rules, review for any updates or changes to this area
- When it has been 52-weeks from the Employee’s 2018 leave dates, the Employee will accrue a new week of available PFL up to another 8 weeks[i]
- Review the language contained in your employee handbook, policy or policy manual. Update FMLA and NYSPFL language to reflect changes and communicate the policy to the workforce
- Communicate PFL payroll deductions for 2019 and now 2020 to the workforce. My recommendation is to do this in writing via a template and obtain a signature
- Ensure the NYS PFL statement of rights for Paid Family Leave in 2019 is up-to-date and communicated to the workforce. This includes the postings, disability provider or state is providing these postings to employers. Watch the expiration dates on the postings, I commonly see expired postings during audits and site visits
I’m happy to work with any employer’s on ensuring policy, communication mechanisms, postings and other NYSPFL material is legal and up-to-date. Ensure you are reviewing this information annually and communicating changes to PFL rates annually. Work with your payroll provider to ensure and verify the percentage deductions are accurate and live in the payroll system. Remember interns and seasonal employees and communicate if they do or do not qualify for PFL. There are forms to fill out online if they do not qualify to ensure the deduction is not taken.
– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant
[i] Sciotti Presentation