The State of New York has recently announced some good news for New York employees.
Recent changes have been made to the New York State’s Paid Family Leave program that will continue to benefit millions of full and part-time employees in the state. The changes that will take effect on January 1, 2023 include a reduction in the employee contribution rate, an increase in the maximum weekly benefits, and an expansion of the definition of “family member.”
What is the Paid Family Leave Program?
The Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides protection and security to workers who have to care for a family member. Whether the birth or adoption of a child, military deployment, or due to an accident or illness of a family member, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of paid time off. The time off can be taken all at once or in smaller increments to attend doctors’ visits or procedures. These protections provided by the PFL program include:
Job Protection - Employers must place employees returning from PFL in the same or comparable position.
Health Insurance - Employees keep all health insurance benefits just the same as though they were working.
Discrimination Protection - Employees are protected from retaliation or discrimination by employers for requesting or taking PFL.
To be eligible for PFL, employees must work 20 hours or more a week and work for 26 consecutive weeks for their employer. Employers are required to give workers an opt-out waiver in the event that an employee is not expected to be eligible.
What Changes are Going Into Effect?
Starting with the new year, the following changes will be going into effect with the PFL program:
1. Reduction in Contribution Rate
Employees’ contribution rate is decreasing to 0.455% with a maximum contribution of $399.43 a year. Employees who make less than the Statewide Average Weekly Wage, which is currently set at $1,688, will contribute even less. Their contribution will be consistent with what their actual wages are instead of the state contribution rate.
In 2022, the contribution rate was 0.511% with an annual maximum of $423.71.
2. Increase in Wages Received
More good news for employees: Those taking PFL will now receive more in their weekly wages during their leave. Those on PFL will receive 67% of their average weekly wages, with a maximum weekly benefit of $1,131.08. That’s an increase of $62.72 from the previous year.
3. Broadened Definition of “Family Member”
Finally, the relationship that constitutes a “family member” has been expanded. That means another relationship has been added that will qualify you for PFL. For 2023, the list now includes “sibling,” and that includes biological or adopted siblings, half-siblings, and step-siblings. The other people who qualify as family members remain the same:
The PFL program has undergone some changes since its inception in 2018. Make sure to stay on top of any more that may affect your business. You can do that by turning to Complete Payroll’s blog to get up-to-date articles on everything you need to know for HR or Payroll compliance.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.
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