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A new era for paid family leave for New Yorkers

Starting this week, paid family leave in New York follows a new set of rules, considered by many to be a boon for both employers hoping to retain and support employees, and employees needing time and support when a new family member is born, or when serious medical problems arise.

Employees will have the security of knowing their job will still be there when they return to work. They will enjoy regular health benefits while they are away. Employers will not be allowed to discriminate or retaliate against employees seeking leave benefits.

 

Protection from retaliation

The new rules will be phased in over the next four years. This year, workers will be allowed to take up to eight weeks of Paid Family Leave, receiving half of their average weekly wage during that period. By 2021, employees will be entitled to take 12 weeks of paid leave.

Where the money comes from

The new benefits are funded by a weekly payroll deduction. Employers do not pay for it. The payroll contribution is 0.126% of your wage. For the rest of 2018, workers earning annual wages of $27,000 can expect to contribute 65 cents per week.

Employers may choose to pay workers' contributions for them.

The new benefits are available to both full- and part-time employees, following a set period of employment. Workers are entitled to the benefits regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

These new rules were adopted when no similar action was taken at the federal level - an idea advanced by Ivanka Trump, among others. New York's actions may propel the federal government to similarly upgrade its benefit levels and guarantees.

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