New York has become the fourth state in the country to implement a paid family leave program, requiring employers to offer up to 12 weeks of paid time off for most workers starting in 2018. NY’s law is the most generous of its kind to date, and employees need only meet a six-month employment requirement in order to be eligible for the benefit, which will be funded by deductions from employees’ pay. Paid family leave helps people take time off from work to bond with a new baby (whether biological or adopted) as well as take care of a gravely ill family member, without endangering the status of their employment or their household budget. Unless there is a company policy of paid leave, like at Facebook, most workers in the country are not currently eligible to take leave of this kind, in the absence of a federally mandated paid leave program. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new budget deal also outlines an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, which will be implemented on different timelines in different areas of the state. Together, these two new policies are likely to make a meaningful impact for thousands of New York residents, as well as set precedents for other states to follow.
Image via Shutterstock