What Paid Family Leave benefits are available under labor law?

In New York, workers have certain rights under state labor law. Oftentimes, they are not granted these rights for the simple reason that they are unaware of them. In other instances, the employer might grant that the worker has the right to exercise certain rights, but subtly or overtly dissuades the worker from doing so with threats to job status. Workers should be cognizant of their rights and one of the relatively new laws gives Paid Family Leave benefits.

Phased in over four years, New York workers can have as much as eight weeks of Paid Family Leave in 2018. During that time, they will get half their Average Weekly Wage. There is a cap to the amount the worker can get and it is based on the New York State Average Weekly Wage. The Average Weekly Wage is calculated by determining how much the worker received in the eight weeks before using Paid Family Leave. The State Average Weekly Wage is updated each year.

If a worker received $1,000 on average each week, he or she will get $500 while using Paid Family Leave. With the cap, the maximum that a worker can get regardless of income is $652.96. It is important for workers to keep track of changes that come about so that they are not deprived of their rightful wages under this law. In 2019, the amount of time a worker will be granted in Paid Family Leave will increase to 10 weeks. It will stay the same for 2020. In 2021, it will be 12 weeks. As for pay, it will be 55 percent for both Average Weekly Wage and State Average Weekly Wage in 2019; 60 percent in 2020; and 67 percent in 2021. Workers can take their leave continuously or in increments of full days. It can be taken in any 52-week period and it begins when the worker takes Paid Family Leave.

Although workers are given certain rights under labor law, it is not unusual for them to face sanctions - implied or real - from an employer for using these rights. If there is an issue with this portion of labor law and a union or an individual is being confronted with problems because of an attempt to use the time off for which they have a right to take, a law firm experienced in labor law and employee benefits may be able to help.

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