If you’re an employer covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you’re already familiar with an employee’s ability to take time off to care for a newborn or a newly-placed adopted or foster child. What may be new to you is that New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) allows that same employee to take his leave in daily increments.
Under FMLA, an employee can’t take intermittent leave to care for a child unless the employer agrees. This gives employers the option to require an employee to take all of his FMLA leave in one continuous block if that’s more convenient for the company. Stated differently, the employer isn’t required to allow an employee to use his FMLA leave to create a reduced work schedule.
This may change once PFL takes effect in January, however, because it allows employees to take paid leave in one-day increments. Unlike FMLA, an employee may take incremental PFL to bond with a child regardless of whether the employer agrees. As a result, an employee can use his PFL bonding leave all at once or instead can work a reduced schedule. Either way, PFL allows him to choose how to take his leave regardless of whether his employer approves.
The interactions between PFL and FMLA can be complicated and create important changes for your business. Our attorneys closely monitor developments in the PFL regulations and can guide you through this complex framework.