Changes Coming to New York State Paid Family Leave in 2023
Director of Compliance
Since its inception in 2018, the New York State Paid Family Leave Law has provided a phased-in benefit program of job-protected paid leave for eligible employees to:
- Bond with a new child within 12 months of birth, adoption, or foster care placement
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition
- Attend to qualifying exigencies when an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent is deployed abroad on covered active military duty
Paid Family Leave has also been available to employees in certain situations when they, or their minor dependent child, are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.
As 2023 draws near, New York employers should be aware that the following key changes to the New York State Paid Family Leave program will take effect on January 1:
- Care for Siblings. In 2022 and earlier, New York State Paid Family Leave to care for a “family member” was limited to an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, parent, parent-in-law, stepparent, grandparent, or grandchild. “Siblings” were not covered for protective relative care. Beginning in 2023, however, eligible employees will also be allowed to take Paid Family Leave to care for a sibling with a serious health condition. This includes biological, adopted, step-, and half-siblings.
- Increase in Maximum Weekly Benefits. Employees taking New York State Paid Family Leave in 2023 will still receive 67% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 67% of the present Statewide Average Weekly Wage. In 2023, however, the New York State Average Weekly Wage increases to $1,688.19, meaning the maximum weekly wage replacement benefit for 2023 will rise to $1,131.08. This is $62.72 more than the weekly benefit employees received in 2022.
- Decrease in Employee Contributions. The New York State Paid Family Leave program may be funded by way of payroll deductions. Although benefits will be expanding in 2023 to cover siblings, employee contributions will decrease. Eligible employees will contribute 0.455% of their gross wages per pay period to the leave program. The maximum annual contribution for 2023 is $399.43, $24.28 less than in 2022. Employees earning under the present New York State Average Weekly Wage of $1,688.19 will contribute proportionately less than the yearly cap of $399.43, consistent with their lower wages.
Employers in New York should review their Paid Family Leave practices, policies, and forms to include siblings in the expanded definition of “family member.” Failing to do so could result in a confused workforce and costly compliance problems. Employers should also verify that their employee 2023 contribution rate is updated to ensure proper payroll management. Don’t hesitate—prepare for these 2023 compliance changes now!
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