As of January 1, 2018, paid family leave is mandatory in New York State. Almost all employees are eligible for paid family leave, and employers must give their employees paid family leave.
Paid Family Leave allows for employees to take paid time off work to care for family members who are very ill or have a serious health condition. Family members include:
- Spouses, of any gender;
- Domestic partners, of any gender;
- Grandparents; and
- Siblings (starting in January 1, 2023)
Serious health conditions are illnesses, injuries, impairments, or disabilities that involve inpatient care in a hospital or other health facility, or continuing long-term treatment. Temporary minor conditions such as the flu, cold, earaches, upset stomach, or routine care do not meet this definition.
Employees may be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave at 67 percent of their pay, up to a cap. Employers can allow employees to take vacation or sick leave so that the employee can earn a full salary. However, employers cannot require employees to take vacation or sick leave for paid family leave.
Employees qualify for paid family leave after working 20 or more hours a week for 26 weeks (6 months).
Employers cannot fire or demote employees for taking paid family leave under state law. Employers cannot terminate health insurance for employees who take paid family leave. Employers cannot take any other form of retaliation. New York State provides assistance to victims of these illegal practices.
New York State Paid Family Leave Hotline