Paid family leave coming for all New Yorkers in 2018

With the state’s new Paid Family Leave program set to begin in January 2018, the state Workers’ Compensation Board and the Department of Financial Services filed their regulations for implementation of the new law. The regulations will provide guidance for employers, employees, and insurance carriers about their responsibilities and rights under the law.

Paid family leave will be available for three major categories: care for a newborn, care for a family member with a serious medical condition, or providing care while a family member is away for military service.

Workers are expected to provide employers 30 days’ notice with a request for paid family leave unless an unexpected medical situation developed.

A new website provides information on medical documentation required for taking the leave:

The program opens on Jan. 1, 2018 and employees who have worked for at least 26 weeks with their employer on a full-time basis or 175 days on a part-time basis. Employees are able to take up to eight weeks off at half of their salary.

The benefit will be phased in over four years when employees are eligible to take up to 12 weeks off in 2021. In 2019 and 2020, employees can take up to 10 weeks off. The program was passed last year by the State Legislature and provides some of the most generous benefits of those states that have similar laws.

Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New  Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Our funding is derived in part from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging and the United States Administration on Aging. To find out more about our services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit or call us at (518) 456-2898.

Editor’s note: Michael Burgess volunteers for Community Caregivers.