By Steve Jepson, Vice President and Director of Employee Benefits, The Evans Agency, LLC
Effective January 1, 2018, full and part-time private employees must be provided Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage. Public employers, however, have the option to participate.
PFL provides wage replacement to allow employees to:
- Bond with a new child;
- Care for a family member or loved one who has a serious health condition; or
- Help in a situation when a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent has been notified of an impending call or order of active military duty abroad.
For 2018, PFL will provide 50% of an employee’s weekly income, capped at 50% of the statewide average weekly wage ($1,305.92 as of July 1, 2017), with a maximum benefit period of 8 weeks.
Employees may take the maximum benefit length in any given 52-week period. The benefit amount and the maximum number of weeks will increase each year as follows:
|Year||Max # of Weeks Available||Max % of Employee Average Weekly Wage||Cap % of State Average Weekly Wage|
Employees receiving PFL benefits are guaranteed they will be able to return to their job and continue their health insurance while away from work, although they must continue to pay any employee contributions (if applicable). Unlike New York’s disability (DBL) benefits where benefits are payable during the employee’s own disability, PFL provides wage replacement benefits so the employee can support or care for someone else.
The existing Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), only applies to employers with at least 50 employees (versus 1 for PFL), and provides for unpaid job and benefit protected leave of absence.
Employees are being asked to pay the cost of the PFL benefits. The deduction is equal to .00126 multiplied by an employee’s weekly wages, capped at a current annual maximum deduction of $85.56.
EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER PFL:
- Ensure coverage by amending your current disability program;
- Deduct premiums from employees’ after-tax wages;
- Include PFL contributions from employees on their W-2 forms in box 14;
- Report benefits as taxable, non-wage income;
- Include information about PFL in their employee benefit handbooks;
- Display a poster at the worksite that describes the program;
- Coordinate and track the amount of time employees have available for DBL, PFL, and FMLA (where applicable);
- Required reporting to the State of New York on a quarterly and annual basis.
Today, the dollars spent on employee benefits are staggering and the ability to keep abreast of changes like New York’s Paid Family Leave is daunting. Thankfully, we can help.
Choose Locally Grown.
Choose The Evans Agency.