New York State’s Paid Family Leave Act (PFL) is one of the strongest family leave laws in the United States. It covers most workers in the private sector, including part-time workers.

Employees who work full-time for private employers in New York State are eligible for PFL as long as they’ve worked 20 or more hours per week for 26 consecutive weeks. If a part-timer works fewer than 20 hours per week, he’s eligible for PFL after working 175 days which don’t need to be consecutive days.

Eligible employees can use PFL in three types of circumstances.

First, employees can use PFL to bond with their child within the first year of birth, adoption, or foster care. Parents working for different employers can use PFL at the same time. Parents working for the same employer also can use PFL at same time as long as their employer lets them, but it’s not mandatory to permit this. It’s important to note that expectant mothers cannot use PFL.

Second, employees can use PFL to care for a family member with a serious health condition. A serious health condition is defined as an “illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental health condition requiring either inpatient care, or continuing treatment or supervision by a healthcare provider.” Employees can take off work to care for their spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, parent, parent-in-law, step-parent, grandparent, or grandchild. And notably, COVID-19 quarantine leave is available when an employee or his minor, dependent child must complete mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation.

Third, employees can use PFL during a family member’s military deployment. This can include short notice military deployment, military events (like official ceremonies or informational briefings related to active duty), a service member’s rest and recuperation, counseling, post-deployment activities, and making financial or legal arrangements.

Employees who use PFL can receive up to 12 weeks off work. And they can be paid 67% of their average weekly wage, capped at 67% of the State’s average weekly wage. Employees can use PFL in shorter bursts of time, but they must take the time off in full-day increments.

To take PFL, an employee should notify his employer at least 30 days before the start of leave if it’s foreseeable. If the need to take time off is more sudden, the employee should notify his employer as soon as possible. After informing his employer, an employee should complete the appropriate request forms which then are sent to the employer’s PFL insurance carrier.

Feel free to reach out to the experienced attorneys here at The Coppola Firm with any questions related to New York’s Paid Family Leave law. We’re here to help!