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BY Fairygodboss

New York Paid Family Leave: It's Coming!

I Love New York

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TAGS: Maternity leave, Parental leave, Paternity leave, FMLA, Paid leave, New York

Just a few weeks ahead of the New York state primaries, the legislature broke some momentous news on March 31 that will impact millions of families in New York. The news was so good that we nearly had to pause, and double check it wasn’t an early April Fool’s Day joke!

New York state will become one of 5 states (joining California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington — though Washington has never actually implemented it’s law) that has passed paid family leave in the U.S. Moreover, New York is leading the pack by offering the most generous policies in the country.

If you’re wondering what paid family leave means, we’ll break it down for you. It means that you will receive some amount of money when and if you ever need to take a leave of absence from work due to any of the following 3 reasons (1) having (or adopting) a baby; (2) because you need to take care of a sick member of your family; or (3) because a family member’s military service creates a need for you to spend some time away from your work.

If you don’t know why this is so groundbreaking, the background context is that the United States is one of only a handful of countries in the world without federally paid maternity (much less, parental) leave in the world. Under the federal law, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certain employees of companies that employe more than 50 people and meet other qualifications such as tenure have the right to unpaid parental leave of up to 12 weeks and job protection during that time if they return to work within that period of time. Under FMLA, an employee may take time off to care for an ill family member or newborn, but the financial reality is that most people cannot afford not to work for that long. 12 weeks off with no pay is simply economically unfeasible for the vast majority of American workers. Moreover, many employees of small businesses don’t receive FMLA protection because their employers aren’t large enough for them to qualify.

Without federal protections, states have passed maternity and parental leave laws, making it possible for workers to raise and take care of families (as well as earn a living). New York is joining California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington state in providing state-mandated paid family leave. Washington state passed a law but it has never been implemented. In the other states’ cases, California and New Jersey offer 6 weeks of paid family paid leave (up to a weekly cap), while Rhode Island offers 4 weeks of partially paid family leave (again, up to a weekly cap).

To add to the matrix of federal of state family leave protections, many large private employers

pick up the slack where the law doesn’t offer much. Companies offer paid leave or take out short-term disability insurance policies for employees (i.e. usually intended for pregnant, female employees) in order to give workers financial protection after they have children. These policies often do not cover men, domestic partners, or other family care-taking responsibilities, though employer policies vary greatly (we’ve tried to provide some semblance of a summary through our parental leave and maternity leave database).

If you’re currently expecting, it may be premature to start celebrating (on behalf of yourself, anyway). The caveat to the New York state law is that it doesn’t kick in until 2018. And when it does, it will gradually phase in in terms of the amount of paid coverage. In the first year, employees will be able to take 8 weeks of leave per year, followed by 10 weeks in 2019 and 12 weeks in 2021. Capped at 2/3 of New York state’s average weekly wage, workers will receive some percentage of their take-home salary (not 100%). That said, having some amount of money after childbirth or an illness in the family can mean a world of difference for the state’s most financially vulnerable families.

It’s certainly something worth toasting to this weekend!

 

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

 

Related Community Discussions

  • I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and gearing up to go on maternity leave at the end of the month. I recently came across a new job oppurnity that would be better for my family. I'm at the finishing stages of interviewing with this new company and I am worried that I will find out I got the job while on maternity leave. My question is, what happens to my maternity benefits and how do I go about leaving my current job without issue?

  • Any advice for someone searching for work during their first trimester of pregnancy? I currently work with a temp agency for income and am applying for my next role. From what I've read on the boards, it seems that most women are firmly established at their companies but I was forced to look for a new role outside of my former company due to a health condition. They were unwilling to move me to a different role within the company. Any suggestions on how to navigate the next 4-6 months before giving birth?

  • I'm 12 weeks pregnant and just met with HR to find out about our Maternity Leave program only to learn that they only give us unpaid leave (you have to file for state disability to get your 55% salary during those weeks) In talking with other moms, I found they all came back early (because who can really afford to take a big pay cut when you have a new little one to tend to?)

    It never occurred to me to check because kids weren't on the radar when I applied for the job, but I'm totally disheartened that my company that "prides itself" on caring about its people doesn't have something better in place. Has anyone gone to HR to see about improving their policies? I know as a whole our organization had a 12 year tenure when I started and a pretty high average age, so it may have not been on their radar, but I'm shocked that they aren't more progressive. Any advice??

  • Good morning!
    I am seriously stressing about tell my work I am pregnant. Right now I am 9 weeks and 3 days. I work in a very competitive industry (recruiting) just got promoted to Assistant Manager this year and the bosses are mostly men. Its a small business so you would think its family friendly but its not so much. I take on a huge work load and I know it will be upsetting to them (As happy as I am) I know there is nothing they can do legally but I am still scared. I am 38 years old, this is my first, have been at this small company for 8 years. Hard worker for sure so this will be unexpected. I know they do not have maternity leave here so we follow what the state offers. We get short term disability in New Jersey ( 4 weeks before, 6 after) and then I think we can take 6 weeks of FMLA. Now I know once I tell them they do ask what my plan is. I honestly have no idea what my plan is!! Do I need the 4 weeks before? After how long!

    Also, I am going on a preplanned vacation April 1-10, do I tell them when I get back or before I leave?

    Thank you in advance for ANY help, advice, I am quite stressed out!

  • What is the proper etiquette on your first day back from maternity leave? Do you bring a small gift (e.g. box of joe or box of cookies?) I had 2 people covered for me while I'm on a 5 months leave. I would like to show them my gratitude for their additional work. What do you suggest I bring and do I bring it for the whole office of just the 2 people? Or would you bring anything at all?

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New York Paid Family Leave: It's Coming!

New York Paid Family Leave: It's Coming!

Just a few weeks ahead of the New York state primaries, the legislature broke some momentous news on March 31 that will impact millions of families in...

Just a few weeks ahead of the New York state primaries, the legislature broke some momentous news on March 31 that will impact millions of families in New York. The news was so good that we nearly had to pause, and double check it wasn’t an early April Fool’s Day joke!

New York state will become one of 5 states (joining California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington — though Washington has never actually implemented it’s law) that has passed paid family leave in the U.S. Moreover, New York is leading the pack by offering the most generous policies in the country.

If you’re wondering what paid family leave means, we’ll break it down for you. It means that you will receive some amount of money when and if you ever need to take a leave of absence from work due to any of the following 3 reasons (1) having (or adopting) a baby; (2) because you need to take care of a sick member of your family; or (3) because a family member’s military service creates a need for you to spend some time away from your work.

If you don’t know why this is so groundbreaking, the background context is that the United States is one of only a handful of countries in the world without federally paid maternity (much less, parental) leave in the world. Under the federal law, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certain employees of companies that employe more than 50 people and meet other qualifications such as tenure have the right to unpaid parental leave of up to 12 weeks and job protection during that time if they return to work within that period of time. Under FMLA, an employee may take time off to care for an ill family member or newborn, but the financial reality is that most people cannot afford not to work for that long. 12 weeks off with no pay is simply economically unfeasible for the vast majority of American workers. Moreover, many employees of small businesses don’t receive FMLA protection because their employers aren’t large enough for them to qualify.

Without federal protections, states have passed maternity and parental leave laws, making it possible for workers to raise and take care of families (as well as earn a living). New York is joining California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington state in providing state-mandated paid family leave. Washington state passed a law but it has never been implemented. In the other states’ cases, California and New Jersey offer 6 weeks of paid family paid leave (up to a weekly cap), while Rhode Island offers 4 weeks of partially paid family leave (again, up to a weekly cap).

To add to the matrix of federal of state family leave protections, many large private employers

pick up the slack where the law doesn’t offer much. Companies offer paid leave or take out short-term disability insurance policies for employees (i.e. usually intended for pregnant, female employees) in order to give workers financial protection after they have children. These policies often do not cover men, domestic partners, or other family care-taking responsibilities, though employer policies vary greatly (we’ve tried to provide some semblance of a summary through our parental leave and maternity leave database).

If you’re currently expecting, it may be premature to start celebrating (on behalf of yourself, anyway). The caveat to the New York state law is that it doesn’t kick in until 2018. And when it does, it will gradually phase in in terms of the amount of paid coverage. In the first year, employees will be able to take 8 weeks of leave per year, followed by 10 weeks in 2019 and 12 weeks in 2021. Capped at 2/3 of New York state’s average weekly wage, workers will receive some percentage of their take-home salary (not 100%). That said, having some amount of money after childbirth or an illness in the family can mean a world of difference for the state’s most financially vulnerable families.

It’s certainly something worth toasting to this weekend!

 

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

 

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