Integrating the New York Paid Family Leave in Employee Benefits

What NY Prevailing Wage Contractors and Companies Should Know

New York has one of the most comprehensive paid family leave regulations (PFL) in the United States. This is very important especially for both private companies and NY government contractors to know so that they understand PFL and pay their employees accordingly. Since PFL payment is based on prevailing wage, it is essential to clear things up before going on a leave.

PFL as Part of Employee Benefits

What exactly is PFL? PFL stands for Paid Family Leave program. It is a replacement of sorts in monetary form. This happens when an employee has to attend to important personal concerns or when he/she has a health condition that would prevent him/her from going to work for the time being. PFL then becomes a wage replacement so employees still get paid even when they cannot work. Private companies must have health and welfare benefits that are in line with the PFL regulations.

PFL and the Prevailing Wage

By 2018, rates will go up, making PFL a great addition to employee benefits. Rates will continue to increase until 2021.

  • For 2018, an employee on a PFL can gain access to 50% of his/her average weekly prevailing wage for a period of eight weeks.
  • For 2019, rate goes up to 55% for a period of ten weeks. 
  • For 2020, rate becomes 60% for a period of ten weeks. 
  • Finally, for 2021, rate will be at 67% for a period of 12 weeks.

Other Highlights about the New NY Rule on PFL

  • Eligibility

This should be automatically added as one of the employee benefits for both full-time and part-time private employees in New York. NY government contractors may opt into the program but are not required. Public employees represented by a union can check whether PFL is part of their collective bargaining agreement.

  • Maternity and Paternity Leave

A parent expecting, fostering, or adopting a child in New York is entitled to PFL. Same rate and coverage as stated above will apply. This can vary for private employees because some companies might have more health and welfare benefits not indicated in the PFL.

  • Serious health condition

This benefit does not only apply if the employee himself/herself is sick. However, a New Yorker caring for a close relative with a serious health condition can also apply for a PFL.

A close relative would mean a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild. Serious health conditions, meanwhile, could mean illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that entails hospital care and continued treatment.

  • Active duty deployment

Employees can also take a PFL if the spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child is on active duty or has been notified of an order of active duty.

ARCHER JORDAN Can Help Design your Employee Benefits Packages

Understanding PFL and its computation based on prevailing wage will save both employers and employees the confusion over some of the program’s technicalities.  With such a comprehensive program, New York offers much needed support for employees not only monetarily but also security of tenure. This is because employees are guaranteed to be able to return to their job after the leave.

ARCHER JORDAN is your trusted fringe benefits administrator in New York. We can help you customize employee benefit packages including insurance and retirement plans for your hourly and prevailing wage workers. Call us today!

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