Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Leave Explained

New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) 

The state of New York amended its workers’ compensation law in 2016 to include a new PFL program for employers who are based in New York and employers who have one or more employees working in New York. Benefits under this new PFL law became payable on January 1, 2018.

New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage—what you need to know 

  • Every New York Disability Benefit Law (DBL) policy must include New York PFL. 
  • All employees covered by New York DBL will be covered by New York PFL.
  • Every carrier providing New York DBL must also offer New York PFL.
  • Employers with State Insurance Fund or private carrier DBL must purchase PFL from their carrier.

As a note, insurers who provide statutory disability insurance had to include coverage for New York PFL effective January 1, 2018

Man on work video conference with children

New York PFL eligibility 

New York PFL provides income, job protection, and continuation of health benefits (when applicable) for employees who take leave from work to:  

  • Care for a family member’s serious health condition. (The family member can include a spouse/domestic partner, a child, a parent, a grandparent, a grandchild, and a parent-in-law.)
  • Bond with their child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or during the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption or foster care.  
  • Perform activities relating to the employee's spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent’s active military duty (or impending call to active duty).

Employee eligibility for New York PFL coverage  

  • Employees scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible for PFL after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.
  • Employees working less than 20 hours per week are eligible after working 175 days.

Interplay between New York PFL and DBL, and the FMLA 

New York PFL and DBL 

  • PFL maximum allowance is 12 weeks as of January 1, 2021.
  • PFL and DBL benefits can’t be paid for at the same time and can’t exceed 26 weeks in a 52-week period.

New York PFL and the FMLA 

  • The FMLA may run concurrently with PFL.
  • If the employee declines New York PFL payments while using the FMLA, leave may still count against the employee's PFL benefit. 
  • If the employee takes FMLA in less than full-day increments and the employee is paid for part of the day, that’s not a PFL day, as PFL must be taken in one-day increments.

Unlawful acts by employers 

If an employer doesn’t comply with New York PFL, the employer will be guilty of a misdemeanor, and penalties will include, but are not limited to, fines, penalties, and imprisonment. If employer is a corporation, the president, secretary, treasurer, and officers will be liable. 

For more information on New York PFL visit:  


New York Life Group Benefit Solutions products and services are provided by Life Insurance Company of North America and New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY, subsidiaries of New York Life Insurance Company.