New York’s Paid Family Leave Law (“PFL”) became effective January 1, 2018, but as PFL is phased in over the next few years there will be changes in the law.  Some of these changes are effective January 1, 2019. 

Here’s what you need to know.

Wage Deductions.  PFL is funded by employees.  In 2018, employee contributions were 0.126% of their earnings each pay period, capped at $85.56 per year.  In 2019, this deduction amount increases to 0.153% of their earnings each pay period, capped at $107.97 per year. Employers can – and should – start taking wage deductions at the higher rate beginning January 1, 2019.

When Continuous PFL Spans From 2018 To 2019.  Employees who took continuous PFL leave beginning in 2018 are eligible for up to eight weeks of leave at the 2018 rates.  Employee PFL leave beginning in 2018 is capped at eight weeks even if the leave continues into 2019.  Again, an employee may use up to 10 weeks of PFL leave in 2019 at the 2019 rate only if the employee experiences another qualifying event. 

Changes To Intermittent Leave That Began In 2018.  An employee is eligible for benefits as they existed on the first day of her leave.  If there is a 3-month gap between days of intermittent leave, the employee must submit a new request for PFL leave.  This begins a new period of leave which, if it begins in 2019, will make the employee eligible for up to ten weeks of leave at the 2019 rates.

What To Do?  With the new year just around the corner, employers should review their existing policies, notices and procedures to ensure they remain compliant.  If you’re an employer with questions about PFL, contact us.  The attorneys at The Coppola Firm are happy to assist you.