Employees should pay attention to new FMLA regulations

In New York, employees are accorded certain rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is important that both employers and employees adhere to the law regarding FMLA. An important part of that is understanding when paid leave must be provided under FMLA and what changes are in store for the coming year and beyond. A worker who is denied these employee benefits should be fully cognizant of the exact regulations so they can act if they are denied and move forward with employment litigation.

In 2018, private employers will be required to give paid leave based on FMLA to workers who take time off for a variety of reasons from the birth of a child, adopting a child, taking care of an ill relative, or when a loved one is deployed in the military among other reasons. They will receive eight weeks of wages, their health insurance coverage and a guarantee that their job will be reinstated when they return to work. For workers who are employed for at least 20 hours per week, they can have leave after they have been on the job for 26 weeks. For those who work fewer than 20 hours per week, it will begin after 175 days of work.

These workers are to get half their average weekly wage but no more than half the state's average weekly wage in the first year as the program is phased in over four years. In 2019, it will rise to 10 weeks leave and 55 percent; for 2020, it will be 10 weeks leave and 60 percent; in 2021, it will be 12 weeks leave and 67 percent. Employers can have employees continue paying a share of their insurance premiums.

FMLA is an important part of the benefits that employees will receive in today's world. However, some employers might not adhere to the law with these matters and with the changes coming and the requirements, some employers might not even be aware of them. For those who have been denied any rights under labor law, having legal assistance is imperative. A lawyer experienced in FMLA can help with a case.

Source: bizjournals.com, "Paid family leave: What New York employers need to know," Michael W. Macomber, Nicholas Devyatkin, Oct. 6, 2017

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