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New York Increases the Family Medical Leave Act Benefits

New York Family Medical Leave Act Benefits (FMLA)

As an employer, from time to time, you’ll have employees who want to take a family leave. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants employees the right to take a leave under certain circumstances and also keep their job secure.

The recent New York State law that increased minimum wages also created changes in FMLA leaves for New Yorkers.

Family members can now request a 12 weeks paid family leave. New York’s family leave program is currently the most comprehensive in the nation. The circumstances under which you can request family leaves include:

  • Caring for an infant
  • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Relieving family pressures when a family member is called to active military service

Here is how the program works:

  • Employees are eligible after working for an employer for six months
  • Beginning in 2018, benefits phase in at 50 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage (capped to 50 percent of the statewide weekly wage)
  • In 2021, benefits become 67 percent of the average weekly wage (capped at 67 percent of the average statewide weekly wage)

How is it funded? Not through the employer because a nominal payroll deduction applies, making it cost nothing for large and small businesses.

Benefits for Women

All too often in the past, when women left their jobs to care for a newborn baby, their careers suffered based on diminished future earnings. This new law aims to equalize income opportunities for women and is a vital step in the long-term for establishing income equality for women.

As an employer, you may have questions or issues that arise regarding family leaves. Stephen Hans & Associates can help you understand your rights as employers and provide effective legal guidance.