By now, you've probably heard that New York is leading the nation with one of the most progressive paid leave policies in the nation. On March 31st, the New York State Legislature passed a bill guaranteeing the majority of New York workers 12 weeks of paid time off.
The New York Paid Family Leave Policy is a monumental change. Here are eight essential facts about the new policy you need to know:
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The majority of workers are eligible: The policy covers men and women, and full and part-time employees. As long as you’ve been with your employer for six months or more, you’re eligible, reports New York magazine.
Various types of family caretaking needs are covered: New parents of biological, adopted or foster care children are eligible for leave, as are individuals caring for a gravely ill child, spouse, domestic partner or grandparent.
The PFLP is different than its predecessor, the Family and Medical Leave Policy, in crucial ways: The previous policy provided 12 weeks of unpaid time off, and only for full-time employees. Not only does the new policy pay and cover part-timers, it also nixed exemptions for small businesses. That means more people are eligible.
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It doesn’t go into effect until 2018: Thinking about having a baby? You might want to wait. The policy will be gradually phased in, with 8 weeks of paid time off offered in 2018, up to 10 in 2019 and 2020, and 12 in 2021, according to A Better Balance, a nonprofit that created the campaign to push the bill forward.
“Paid leave” really means partially paid leave: This is a bit of a downer. The amount paid during leave will also be phased in over time, with 50 percent of the state's average week wage being paid in 2018 and 67 percent by 2021. According to Babble, that means the maxmium paid per week would be $848 for the highest paid workers.
The bill includes job protection: People who take paid leave won’t be penalized, or have to worry about not having jobs waiting for them when they return.
It’s being called the strongest and most generous paid family leave policy in the nation. New York is the fifth state — after California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Washington — to implement a paid family leave policy, but it offers the most time off (New Jersey and Rhode Island offer six and four weeks, respectively). The takeaway? Don't underestimate the Big Apple.