New York State Paid Family Leave – What You Need to Know

May 10th, 2017 • by Matt Rowsell
Matt Rowsell

Matt Rowsell

Matt is a 14 year veteran of the commercial insurance industry. He holds both Property/Casualty and Life, Accident and Health licenses in New York. He is an Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) and a Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS). Over the past 6 years Matt has shifted his concentration in the industry to Brewers Insurance, Bonding and Licensing. He works with several brewers in New York State, and serves as an advisor to both new and established breweries across the region.

What is the Law?

On April 4, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation enacting the NYS Paid Family Leave Act. Effective January 1, 2018, this law will officially go into effect.

The Paid Family Leave Act, or  “PFLA”, will give all employees in New York the right to take a leave of absence in the event of one of three qualifying events. These events are:

  • The birth of a child
  • Serious Illness of a loved one
  • Helping to Alleviate Family Difficulties Caused by Active Military Service

PFLA will be rolled out over a four year period beginning January 1, 2018. Each year the benefit to the employee will escalate:

The salary percentage benefit will be capped at a figure of approximately $650 for 2018, which is based upon 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW). This will also change based on fluctuations in the NYSAWW and the escalating salary percentage each year until 2021.

How Does This Affect NYS Employers?

Within this ruling, NYS has set up guidelines in regards to how this benefit will be paid for. PFLA states that this will be paid by employers via their Statutory Disability policies. New York Disability carriers can begin collecting premium for this coverage effective July 1, 2017 in order to build reserves for payment of claims made for this act.

There are a few items employers should be aware of going forward:

  • Rates will be set by New York at inception. The rate per employee will be the same no matter carrier, sex, age, size of employer or any other factor.
  • Policies will be automatically endorsed to add this coverage
  • Claims will still require three signatures to be paid (employer, employee, and a third party dependent upon type of claim)
  • Final pricing per person should be announced by the end of June 2017.
  • There are some carriers that have decided to leave the disability marketplace to opt out of providing this product. Employers currently insured by one of these carriers will need to replace their coverage.

For more information regarding this law, please speak with an insurance professional or visit New York State’s website: