Ryan Celebrates New York’s New Paid Family Leave Program
Gradual phase-in will ensure employers have enough time to adjust to new program
Ryan: Paid family leave is a historic achievement for New York State
Buffalo – Today, January 10, 2018, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan celebrated the implementation of New York’s Paid Family Leave law. The new law took effect on January 1st. The Paid Family Leave law allows workers in New York State to take paid time off from work to bond with a new child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, and assist loved ones when a family member is deployed on active military service.
Ryan announced that his office would be holding community outreach events every month at West Side Community Services in Buffalo to help people learn how to sign-up for Paid Family Leave. The first event will be on January 22nd from 4:00PM-5:30PM.
The Paid Family Leave law, when fully phased in, will afford employees 12 weeks of paid leave per year to care for a new child or family member in need. The measure will be funded through a small weekly employee contribution and offer up to two-thirds of an employee’s salary during their absence, not to exceed two-thirds of the statewide average weekly wage. The policy will be implemented at a gradual rate. In 2018, workers will be eligible for eight weeks of job-protected paid leave at 50 percent of their average weekly wage up to 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. In 2019, it will increase to 10 weeks of leave at 55 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage up to 55 percent of the statewide average weekly wage, then to 60 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage up to 60 percent of the statewide average weekly wage in 2020. By 2021, it will rise to 12 weeks at 67 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage up to 67 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
To cover the costs of the program, private employers will secure paid family leave insurance and premiums will be fully funded by employees through small payroll deductions. The maximum payroll deduction will be 0.126 percent of the employee’s weekly wage or the state’s average weekly wage – currently no more than $1.64 per week. Public employers may also opt in to the program. Employees are eligible after working at least 20 hours per week for 26 weeks, or less than 20 hours per week for 175 days.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said “No New Yorker should have to choose between collecting a paycheck and taking care of a loved one. Paid Family Leave will ensure that workers can take time off to care for a newborn or sick relative, or help out when a family member is deployed with the military, without having to sacrifice their financial security. The Paid Family Leave program is a historic achievement for New York State. It’s good for business – it will increase worker productivity and morale, and help employers retain skilled workers. It can also help close the gender pay gap by ensuring that women, who are often the ones to take time off from work to care for children and ill family members, remain employed and have stable income, which can increase their lifetime earning potential. Paid Family Leave is not only the right thing to do; it’s a crucial step toward helping more New Yorkers achieve financial security.”