New legislation expands paid family leave

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday signed a bill expanding New York state’s paid family leave to allow employees time off to care for siblings with “serious health conditions.”

“Taking care of your family is a basic human right, no one should have to choose between caring for a loved one and a paycheck,” Hochul said.

The bill builds on the paid family leave legislation enacted in 2016 and in effect since 2018, which is essentially employee-paid insurance that provides workers with job-protected, paid time off to bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child; care for a family member with a serious health condition (which may include severe cases of COVID-19) or assist loved ones when a member of the family is deployed abroad on active military service, according to the governor’s office.

Paid family leave may also be available in some situations when an employee or their minor, dependent child is under an order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off at 67% of their pay (up to a cap) to care for family members in times of need.

Currently, paid family leave family care covers caring for spouses, domestic partners, children and step-children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren with a serious health condition.

More information about New York state’s paid family leave is available on the governor’s website.

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