We have all heard about maintaining a work-life balance. but how to actually do it?

Well, there are several types of leaves that help us achieve that. The State of New York has a Paid Family Leave that has several benefits for it people.

In this article, you will explore Paid Family Leave NY and all the necessary details about it.

What Is Paid Family Leave NY?

The Paid Family Leave NY provides employees with benefits that allow them to care for their family and loved ones without losing their job and economic security. The program protects employees’ jobs and ensures that they get the same job or role back upon returning from their leave.

Employers have to continue providing health insurance benefits to employees while they are on PFL. However, employees have to continue to pay their health insurance premium contribution while on PFL.

Who Is Eligible for Paid Family Leave NY?

Mot full-time and part-time employees are eligible for Paid Family Leave NY. Employees who work regularly for 20 hours a week can be eligible if they have worked for their employer for 26 or more weeks consecutively. On the contrary, those employees who work regularly but for less than 20 hours can only qualify after working for 175 days.

Employees become part of the NY Paid Family Leave program by default upon joining an organization. However, they can choose to opt out of the program if they have temporary employment such as a seasonal employment contract, and do not plan to work for the company for long to become eligible.

All employers in New York state have to allow employees to take Paid Family Leave.

What Situations Qualify for Paid Family Leave NY?

Bonding Leave

Bonding leave refers to paternity and maternity leave related to childbirth, adoption, and foster care. An important point to note here is that Paid Family Leave only begins after birth and does not apply to the prenatal period. A parent is eligible to take PFL during the first 12 months of having a child, adopting r fostering a child. The parent must take the leave within the first year of birth or replacement. However, flexibility is offered for adoption and foster care-related matters. For example, parents can take leave if they have to travel to another or country, meet with doctors or attend counseling sessions.

Care For Loved Ones With a Serious Medical Condition

People who come under loved ones include parents, spouse, domestic partner, child, parent-in-law, grandparent, and grandchild.

Exigency Leave

Exigency leave is also known as Active Deployment Leave. This allows employees to take leaves whose parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner is on active duty.

How Does Paid Family Leave NY Work?

  • The disability policy will include the Paid Family Leave coverage and is mandatory for New York employers to carry it under the New York Disability Benefits Law (DBL). Employees will fund the premium cost for the coverage through payroll deductions. The State of New York will establish the maximum rate for employees’ contributions.
  • An employer cannot force the employee to take all their sick leaves or vacation time (PTO) before utilizing PFL. An employer can mandate an employee to use their sick or vacation leaves for full pay but cannot require them to use the PFL.
  • Employees will continue to receive health insurance and job protection benefits while n Paid Family Leave.
  • It is mandatory for all private employers to be a part of the program. Public employers, on the contrary, have the choice to opt-in.
  • Paid Family Leave NY is funded through employee contributions in the following way:
    • The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) develops the rate and rate structure. They are announced on September 1 of each year and are effective from January 1 of the upcoming year.
    • Employee’s salary determines the rate.
    • Employers deduct 0.511% of employees’ gross weekly wages.
    • The New York State determines the average weekly wage on March 31 of every year.

What Are the Benefits of Paid Family Leave NY?

  • Employees can take the maximum benefit length in the given 52 week period. The p52 period starts on the first day of the employee’s DBL or PFL benefit.
  • The New York State Department of Labor publishes the NY State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW) manually to determine the maximum benefit payable.

Who Pays for the Benefits?

New York State requires employers to charge employees’ payroll for the cost of the benefits. However, According to RIT, there will be no more deductions from employees’ paychecks in 2021.

Difference Between NY DBL and NY PFL

Overview Provides benefits to employees who biome disabled due to an illness or injury Provides a benefit letting employees take care of their loved one in sickness or care for their newborn, adopted child, or foster children
Benefit percentage 50% of employees salary 67% of the employee’s average weekly


Benefit duration 26 weeks  12 weeks 
Elimination Period Benefits start on the 8th day of the accident, or illness No waiting period.
Eligibility Full-time employees become eligible after working for 4 consecutive weeks 

Part-time employees become eligible on the 25th day of employment 

Employees who work regularly for 20 hours a week can be eligible if they have worked for their employer for 26 or more weeks consecutively

Employees who work regularly but for less than 20 hours can only qualify after working for 175 days.

Employee maximum contribution 0.50% of the first $120 of weekly wages 0.511% of an employee’s weekly wages


Covered and Non-Covered Employers Under the Paid Family Leave NY

Covered Employer

  • All private sector organizations with at least one employee excluding the owner.

Non-covered Employer

  • Public employers,  a political subdivision of the state, a public authority or any
    other governmental agency
  • Sole proprietors, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies and self-employed people with no employee working under them
  • Independent contractors

Attention: If any of the independent business owners have even one employee working for them in New York State, they will classify as covered employers. Consequently, they will have to secure Paid Family Leave NY coverage for their employee/s.

Who Is a Covered Employee for Paid Family Leave NY?

An employee becomes covered when they fulfill the following criteria;

  • Physically working in New York State
  • Doesn’t fall into the excluded class
  • Working for a covered employer or an employer who voluntarily provides Paid Family Leave NY coverage

Who Classifies as a Non-Covered Employee for Paid Family Leave NY?

  • An employee working for a non-covered employer
  • Employees who are already receiving disability benefits under state disability insurance or workers’ compensation
  • An unemployed person who is receiving unemployment benefits
  • Employees on administrative leaves
  • Minor child of an employer
  • Maritime, government, railroad, or farm laborers
  • Christian Science readers, ministers, priests, rabbis, members of religious orders, sextons,
  • Non-compensated individuals who volunteer to offer their services for non-profits organizations
  • People working as professionals or teachers  for a religious, charitable, or educational institution
  • Individuals who receive aid from a religious or charitable institution in return for their work
  • students in the secondary or elementary school who work part-time during the year or vacation period
  • Independent contractors and subcontractors
  • spouse of an employer that files a spousal exclusion form

Are You a New York Employee or an Out-of-State Employee?

  • If you work from your home in New York then you qualify as a New York employee. This also applies if your employer is located outside of New York state.
  • If you work outside of New York, regardless of where your employer is located, you will come under out-os-state employee.
  • An employee who has to travel to New York for occasional work or duties will not be known as a New York employee unless the employer is based there.

Final Word

Now that you know about Paid Family Leave NY and its benefits. you can take leave accordingly. As an employer, awareness is equally important as you can administer them properly