New York

Paid Family Leave Laws

Great news! There are two family leave laws that workers in New York can take advantage of:

  • Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)
  • New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

In general, FMLA and NY PFL run concurrently if your leave is covered by both laws. 

Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)

FMLA provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (who is under the age of 18 or incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability)
  • Spouse
  • Parent (including a biological, adoptive, foster, or step-parent, or any other person who stood "in loco parentis” but not including a parent-in-law)

FMLA eligibility includes:

  • All public employers and private employers who employ 50 or more workers within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite. 
  • ​​Employees must have worked for a covered employer for at least one year and have worked for that employer for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. 

FMLA provisions:

Up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or childbirth
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job
  • For certain needs in connection with a loved one's military deployment
  • If medically necessary, employees caring for a seriously ill loved one may be able to take this time in smaller chunks, spread out over time, rather than all at once

FMLA Protections:

  • Job and Seniority: Upon return from FMLA leave, nearly all employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Rare exceptions to this rule are explained here
  • Benefits: During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage and continue paying any share of their health insurance premium under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.
  • FMLA rights: An employer can’t punish an employee in any way for using their FMLA rights and can’t interfere with the employees ability to use their rights under the law.

How to apply for FMLA:

  • Notify your employer of your need for leave. You'll need to get your loved one's health care provider to certify their health condition and need for care. Your employer will then provide you with notices and forms to fill out and return to them. 
  • If you know in advance when your leave will start, tell your employer at least 30 days before that date. If you can’t do so or don’t know in advance, tell your employer as soon as possible.

Detailed information about Federal FMLA, visit the US Department of Labor website

But first, check out New York’s paid leave program below.

NY Paid Family Leave (PFL)

The state of New York expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • A broader definition of “family member”
  • Eligibility for more residents 
  • Paid leave

New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (biological, adopted, step-child)
  • Spouse
  • Domestic Partner
  • Parent
  • Parent-in-law
  • Step-parent
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Sibling (biological, adopted, step-sibling, half-sibling)
  • A person with whom the employee has or had an “in loco parentis” relationship

NY PFL eligibility includes:

  • Nearly all employees of private employers and employees of public employers that choose to opt insome text
    • Employees who work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment with their covered employer  
    • Employees who work a regular schedule of fewer than 20 hours per week are eligible after working for their covered employer for 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive
  • Self-employed workers can opt-in to coverage

NY PFL provisions:

Up to 12 weeks per year of 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
  • Assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent is deployed abroad on active military service.

Note: A related law provides benefits for workers’ own serious health needs, subject to its own provisions. 

NY PFL Benefit Amount

Employees taking Paid Family Leave receive 67% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 67% of the current New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW). For 2024, the NYSAWW is $1,718.15. This means the maximum weekly benefit is $1,151.16. You can estimate the PFML benefit amount you may be eligible to receive on the NY PFML Benefits Calculator.

NY PFL protections:

  • Job protection: The employee must be allowed to return to the same job (or a comparable one) when they return from PFL.
  • Health insurance: The employee can keep their health insurance while on leave on the same terms they had while working.
  • Other protection: The employer is prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against the employee for requesting or taking PFL.

How to apply for Paid Family Leave in New York:

  • Notify your employer(s) at least 30 days before the start of leave if possible (or as soon as possible if not).
  • Collect your forms and documentation from your employer.
  • Complete all forms and submit your complete request package to your employer's insurance carrier within 30 days after the start of your leave to avoid losing benefits.

Detailed information about New York’s Paid Family Leave is available on the New York’s PFL website.

Visit the NY PFL website for the most current details about New York family leave policies. 

Note: The state, county, or city where you live may also offer short term (a few days per year) paid sick leave or paid time off that you may be able to use for caregiving. You can find short term leave information for jurisdictions in the state of New York here.

The information on this page should not be considered legal advice. Other protections may apply in your specific situation. 

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