In 2017, New York State joined California, New Jersey and Rhode Island in filling the federal void when they passed their paid family and medical leave law.
Why is this an important landmark? It simply shines a spotlight on the need for life and work balance to be a right instead of a privilege.
Balancing these two things isn’t easily done. Small Business Trends reports that 66% of full-time employees have expressed that they struggle with how to balance the demands of their job with the demands of their home and family. To be good in either one of these roles, it seems the other has to suffer.
Paid family leave in New York helps alleviate that feeling for employees as it protects not only the jobs but also the financial wellbeing of families.
If you are a non-government employer, chances are your employees qualify for paid family leave. According to the law, there are many ways in which families can use the paid family leave to fit a lot of unique situations. Below, we have outlined some of the ways paid family leave can be used by employees in New York State.
It’s an understatement to say that having a baby is an event that can throw life into chaos pretty quickly. Not only is there physical healing involved after childbirth, but establishing a relationship with the little one in that time is essential to the baby’s wellbeing and development.
Because of the importance of strengthening a family without fear of financial ruin, employees may be eligible for up to 10 weeks of paid family leave after the birth of the child. This leave is for both mothers and fathers and same-sex parents alike.
Paid family leave isn’t just for parents who give birth. Those who adopt a child or are taking in a foster child also qualify for the same amount of paid leave to develop a relationship with their new family member.
Employees in New York State can also take paid family leave to care for a loved one who has a serious illness, including a serious mental illness. The family members that qualify under this term include:
- Domestic partner (including same- and different-gender couples, legal registration not required).
- Child/stepchild and anyone for whom there is legal custody.
In this case, a “serious health condition” is any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential facility or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
In this COVID-19 world we find ourselves in, Governor Cuomo also extended eligibility for paid family leave to those employees who get COVID-19, have a child with the virus, or are subject to mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation. It’s important to note that this kind of leave is different from family care and has different regulations and guidelines.
3. Military families
The duties of a military family can often lead to situations in which time away from work is necessary. Paid family leave can be taken at times when military families are called to service in a variety of ways.
Employees are eligible for paid family leave when their spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is in active service overseas or has been notified of an order of active service. Other reasons for taking paid family leave may include:
- Short-notice military deployment.
- Military events, which may include official ceremonies or informational briefings related to active duty.
- Military member’s rest, recuperation or counseling.
- Post-deployment activities, which may include arrival ceremonies and reintegration events.
- Making financial/legal arrangements.
- Making child care arrangements for the military member’s child.
As an employer, you want to make sure that your employee handbook makes very clear the eligibility requirements for paid family leave as well as resources for employees to apply for paid family leave. Make sure that your handbook is also up to date on all the laws that govern this benefit as they change and evolve over time to ensure your company is protected.
When it comes to taking care of you and your employees, Complete Payroll has you covered. Whether you need robust software for your HR needs or you are looking for one-on-one guidance with one of our professionals, Complete Payroll can help you look at the options you have to make sure your people are taken care of.
Contact one of our team members today to discuss how Complete Payroll can get the job done.