New York Paid Family Leave FAQ
December 19, 2017
Updated November 14, 2019
Effective Jan. 1, 2018, New York’s Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) will provide New York workers job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.
Which employers are covered under PFL?
Most private New York employers with one or more employees are covered by PFL.
Is the client or Cast & Crew considered the “employer” for purposes of PFL administration and compliance?
Clients are the employers for purposes of complying with PFL. Cast & Crew holds and administers the policy for the benefit of our clients and may sometimes be referred to as a “payroll employer.” Nonetheless, clients are responsible for complying with all other employer duties under the law, including notice and posting requirements. Clients can learn more about their duties under the law on the PFL website here.
Which employees are covered under PFL?
Employees who work for a covered employer and who meet the eligibility requirements are covered under PFL. Employee eligibility is determined by length of employment:
- Employees with a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.
- Employees with a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week, or with irregular work schedules, are eligible after 175 days worked.
Employees who know they will never meet the eligibility requirements may waive out of PFL by filing a waiver with their employer. Waiver is automatically revoked and deductions retroactive if eligibility criteria is met.
Does PFL apply to employees who are paid through loan-out companies?
No. PFL does not apply to employees who are paid through loan-out companies.
Does PFL apply to employees who are non-resident aliens?
Yes. PFL applies to non-resident aliens who are covered under New York disability.
Can employees opt-out of PFL?
Generally speaking, PFL is mandatory and employees may not opt-out. A waiver to opt-out is available in limited situations when an employee will never meet the eligibility requirements.
What are acceptable reasons for leave under PFL?
PFL offers job-protected, paid leave in the follow situations:
- Bonding with a Child. A parent may take PFL during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. This includes children born, fostered or adopted as long as the leave is taken within the first 12 months of the birth, adoption or fostering.
- Family Care. If an employee’s family member has a serious health condition, the employee is eligible for PFL to take care of the family member. Family members include: spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren. A serious health condition is one that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential health care facility, or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
- Active Military Duty Deployment. Employees can take PFL to help with obligations arising out of a family member’s call to active military duty abroad. Family members include spouses, children, parents or domestic partners of the employee.
How much leave is permitted and what is the benefit rate?
Length of leave and benefit amounts are phased in over four years.
In 2018, employees are eligible to receive 50 percent of their average weekly wage (up to 50 percent of New York State Average Weekly Wage) for up to eight weeks. In 2018, the amount caps at $652.96.
In 2019, employees are eligible to receive 55 percent of their average weekly wage (up to 55 percent of New York State Average Weekly Wage) for up to ten weeks. In 2019, the amount caps at $746.41.
In 2020, employees are eligible to receive 60 percent of their average weekly wage (up to 60 percent of New York State Average Weekly Wage) for up to ten weeks. In 2020, the amount caps at $840.70.
By 2021, benefits will increase to 67 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage (up to 67 percent of New York State Average Weekly Wage) for up to 12 weeks.
How do the payroll deductions work?
Cast & Crew will be responsible for making payroll deductions beginning Jan. 1, 2018. All employees, except those who have filed a valid waiver, will be subject to these deductions.
In 2018, the deduction rate is 0.126 percent of the employee’s gross weekly wages, with an annual maximum contribution of $85.56.
In 2019, the deduction rate is 0.153 percent of the employee’s gross weekly wages, with an annual maximum of contribution of $107.97.
In 2020, the deduction rate is 0.270 percent of the employee’s gross weekly wages, with an annual maximum contribution of $196.72.
What steps must an employee take to make a claim for PFL?
- Notify production of the need for leave 30 days prior to the first day of requested leave. If 30 days is not practicable (for example, in the event of a medical emergency), then the employee should give as much notice as practicable.
- Select the appropriate PFL Claim Form available on Cast & Crew’s website as of Jan. 1. 2018. Employees should be aware that their employer may change depending on the payroll company under which their payroll was processed. Employees can find this information on their paystubs or W-2.
- Complete Part 1-A and return form to the Production Employee Helpdesk at:
- Cast & Crew will complete Part 1-B and return the form to the employee within three business days.
- Complete remaining sections of the PFL application and submit it (along with any required supporting documentation) directly to the carrier noted on the application form.
- The carrier will notify the employee of its determination within 18 days.
- The carrier will pay all benefits directly to the employee.
Is there a waiting period before PFL starts paying benefits?
PFL is payable on the first day of qualifying leave.
Does PFL cover union employees working under a collective-bargaining agreement?
Yes. Unless the collective-bargaining agreement offers a paid family leave policy that is at least as favorable to the employee as NYPFL, PFL applies.
Can an employee collect PFL while receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
No. If an employee is not working and is collecting workers’ compensation, the employee cannot also claim PFL benefits.
Where can employees find applications and waiver forms?
Application and waiver forms are specific to the type of leave the employee is requesting and will be available on the Cast & Crew website as of Jan. 1, 2018. Completed waiver forms should be faxed or emailed to the Production Employee Helpdesk at:
- For production employees paid by Cast & Crew: 818.492.4722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- For production employees paid by CAPS: 818.492.4722 or email@example.com
What does Cast & Crew consider eligible pay?
Cast & Crew will follow New York State guidelines and include all taxable earnings as eligible pay.
Can I continue to pay my employees while they are out on NYPFL?
Cast & Crew is required to report all wages that an employee receives to the insurance provider administering NYPFL benefits, and the insurance provider may adjust or terminate an employee’s NYPFL benefits if the employee is also receiving payments from an employer. Therefore Cast & Crew recommends that productions do not submit payments to Cast & Crew for employees who are taking NYPFL.
For any other questions, please contact the Production Employee Helpdesk at:
- Cast & Crew: 818.860.7756 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- CAPS: 310.736.2146 or email@example.com
More information is available on the New York Paid Family Leave website here.
For claims and forms, please click here.
For a printable summary of this information, please click here.
For further information, please contact Compliance@castandcrew.com.
The proceeding information is provided for informational purposes only, should not be construed as or relied upon as legal advice and is subject to change without notice. If you have questions concerning particular situations, specific payroll administration or labor relations issues, please contact your counsel.