Updates to New York Paid Family Leave
Employees can take up to 10 weeks of New York Paid Family Leave (” NYPFL “) starting in 2019. In events, including bonding with a new child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or assisting loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. The Paid Family Leave wage replacement benefit has also increased. In 2019, employees taking Paid Family Leave will receive 55% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 55% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,357.11. The maximum weekly benefit for 2019 is $746.41.
As of February 3, 2019, the definition of “serious health condition” will be expanded to include preparation and recovery from surgery related to organ or tissue donation. Accordingly, employees with family members who have made organ or tissue donations and who require care may be eligible for leave under the law.
Entitlement to Paid Family Leave for Organ Donor
An employee is entitled to paid family leave if they or any family member undergoes surgery to donate all or part of one of the following organs to another person:
- Small bowel
Bereavement Leave Veto Update
Governor of New York recently vetoed Senate Bill 8380-A. which would have amended Article 9 of the Workers’ Compensation Law to add bereavement leave to the already-existing categories of leave covered by NYPFL. In support of this action, the Governor issued a veto memorandum. In which he outlined his chief concerns with the bill as currently drafted.
The Governor focused on the fact that there was no provision for the time during which the leave could be taken. The contrast between the proposed bereavement leave and the existing bonding leave highlighted this point. Whereas bonding leave must be taken within 12 months of the qualifying event, bereavement leave under the Senate Bill contained no similar restriction, which leads to a virtually unlimited amount of leave, particularly if taken intermittently.
Even though bereavement leave will not be allowed in accordance with the law this year, the Governor vowed to work with the Legislature to resolve the issues identified in his veto memorandum, leaving the possibility that the bereavement leave could be restored in the future.