Employee benefits in New York now include paid family leave

New York labor law often has changes that grant different benefits to workers. While most employers will adhere to the new rules, unfortunately, some won't. In some cases, the employers might not even be aware of the changes and the new rights that employees have. When it comes to employee benefits, workers should be aware of what they can and cannot do under the law. If there is confusion or a violation, legal help is a must.

New Yorkers who did not meet the threshold in their jobs to get time off based on the federal Family and Medical Leave Act can now have time off based on a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The law went into effect on January 1. With it, those who did not qualify under FMLA can use the New York State Paid Family Leave Law. Employees who are eligible can get as much as 12 weeks of paid family leave if they are caring for an infant or a family member who is suffering from a serious health issue. They can also get time off for the birth or adoption of a child or assisting with family needs if a family member is serving in the military.

An important distinction between Paid Family Leave and FMLA is that the New York law does not give the employee leave for a sickness that they are suffering from. Any maternity or paternity time off must be after a birth. Any New York employee who is covered by workers' compensation will be eligible for this law. There are certain criteria that must be met. The employee must work 20 or more hours per week and must have worked for the employer for 26 consecutive weeks before the first day of leave. If the employee worked less than 20 hours per week, they must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 175 days before taking leave.

Naturally, with a new law of this kind, there will be other requirements that both the employer and employee must fully understand. For those who are seeking to take advantage of these employee benefits, it might be necessary to have legal advice.

Source: insurancejournal.com, "New York State Employers Must Comply With New Paid Family Leave Law," Bennett Pine, Dec. 27, 2017

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