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New York’s Paid Family Leave: Yes, There Are Exceptions to the Rule

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As employers prepare for New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) law which becomes effective January 1, 2018, you’ll notice that employer obligations under PFL are broader than under federal FMLA.  And while many 50+ employee businesses are familiar with FMLA, PFL will apply to many more New York businesses than the federal law. As a result, it expands the universe of eligible employees.

While PFL has broad applicability, the law contains exceptions, and employers are well-advised to review, understand and ultimately incorporate these exceptions into their policies.

For example, employers won’t be required to provide PFL for:

  1. Two employees who request leave to care for the same person during the same time period;
  2. Employees on administrative leave;
  3. Employees already collecting PTO at the time of the requested leave;
  4. Employees already collecting disability benefits for the time period that PFL leave is requested.
  5. Employees who are seasonal or otherwise haven’t worked the required 26 weeks (or 175 days) immediately before their PFL request.

The proposed regulations add two additional exceptions:

  1. Pregnant employees. PFL will not apply to women until after their child is born;
  2. Employees who opt out and waive making contributions to the cost of FML.

The New York Department of Labor hasn’t yet provided concrete information on when the PFL regulations will become final or whether implementation will be delayed so these last two exceptions are subject to change.

Finally, while it probably goes without saying, PFL doesn’t apply to independent contractors. An independent contractor isn’t a W-2 employee.

Feel free to contact us for assistance in drafting policies that suit your business and comply with the new law.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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