2021 Changes to New York Paid Family Leave

Tip of the Month - Employment and Labor Law

The New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) program took effect in January 2018 and featured annual increases to its benefit entitlements through 2021. Effective January 1, 2021, the PFL maximum duration to which an employee may be entitled increased from 10 weeks to 12 weeks. Further, the weekly PFL benefit increased from 60% of an employee’s average weekly wage to 67%, subject to a new maximum weekly benefit of $971.61 (up from 2020’s $840 weekly maximum benefit, calculated using the new Statewide Average Weekly Wage). The maximum annual employee contribution increased from $196.72 to $385.34. Importantly, PFL entitlements may, in certain instances, be “stacked” on top of—rather than running concurrently with—the leave entitlements afforded under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Employers should promptly take steps to ensure that their PFL policies and practices comply with and account for the foregoing updates, and that New York State’s updated 2021 PFL Statement of Rights is made available to all employees.

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