New York State Paid Family Leave
**26 weeks within a 52-week period is the combined maximum duration of the following leaves: Short-Term Disability, New York Paid Family Leave, Workers’ Compensation disability leave.**
New York State Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) provides eligible employees with wage replacement during time away from work to:
1) Bond with the employee’s new child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, or the first 12 months after the child’s placement for adoption or foster care with the employee.
2) Provide care for a family member with a serious illness. The definition of family member includes a biological or legal relationship and in “loco parentis” in definitions of child and parent. These include:
- spouse/domestic partner
- child (no age limit)
- parent and parent-in-law
- grandparent of employee
- grandchild (child of employee’s child)
3) Participate in “qualifying exigencies” as defined in federal Family and Medical Leave Act due to a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent’s active duty military service or notice of a call or order to active duty. Qualifying exigencies include:
- attending certain military events
- arranging for alternative childcare
- caring for a military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care when the care is necessitated by the member’s covered active duty
- addressing certain financial and legal arrangements
- attending certain counseling sessions
- attending post-deployment reintegration briefings
PFL may be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis (in full-day increments only).
If an eligible employee experiences an event that qualifies for leave under both Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) and New York Paid Family Leave (PFL), both leaves will run concurrently.
PFL does not apply to an employee’s own serious health condition.
Benefit payments for PFL will be initiated by CIGNA Leave Solutions and sent directly to the employee.
Employee Benefits on PFL
All benefits will cease during periods of continuous PFL, during which the employee is not receiving salary continuation through the University.
PFL Benefit Amount and Payment Schedule
The benefit is set to increase each year for the following two years:
- 2020 60% of Average Weekly Wage for a maximum of 10 weeks. The New York State Average Weekly Wage in 2020 is $1,401.17. As such, 60% will be a maximum of $840.70 per week.
- 2021 67% of Average Weekly Wage for a maximum of 12 weeks.
All employees will pay for the coverage through payroll deduction at a rate of 0.270% of their weekly wage, not to exceed the annualized statewide average weekly wage, which is currently $72,860.84. This means that an employee’s 2020 annual deduction will not exceed 0.270% of that amount, which is $196.72.
For a newly hired employee, the deduction will begin immediately with his or her first paycheck.
- Full-time employees: If an employee works a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week, he or she is eligible to apply for PFL after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.
- Part-time employees: If an employee works a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week, he or she is eligible to apply for PFL after working 175 days (actual work days regardless of number of hours worked per day).
This policy does not apply to students, independent contractors, consultants, and other non-employees.
Waiving PFL Coverage
An employee can only opt out of Paid Family Leave if he or she does not expect to work for the minimum amount of time required for eligibility. If an employee meets this criteria and wishes to opt out, he or she may do so by completing a PFL waiver (PDF). A waiver of family leave benefits may be filed when:
- An employee’s schedule is 20 hours or more per week, but he or she will not work 26 consecutive weeks; or
- An employee’s schedule is less than 20 hours per week and he or she will not work 175 days in a 52 consecutive week period.
The PFL Waiver form must be returned to the University Benefits office.
Please note that if an employee waives coverage:
- The deduction will cease on the first payroll following receipt of the PFL Waiver form. Deductions already processed will not be refunded.
- And subsequently becomes eligible for New York PFL, he or she will be subject to retroactive premium payments from January 1st of the calendar year in which he or she became eligible.
How to File a Claim
Employees must provide at least 30 days advance notice to the University Benefits office, when possible.
Please contact CIGNA Leave Solutions, at 1-888-842-4462, to file a PFL claim telephonically. You can also view the CIGNA reporting brochure (PDF) for more information.
In addition, please contact the University Benefits office, at (914) 923-2828 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can ensure that your claim is handled appropriately.
Please access the NYS Paid Family Leave site for further information.
You may also access Pace University's New York State Paid Family Leave policy (PDF).