It’s Time for ‘Year Two’ of Paid Family Leave (PFL) Implementation

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) superintendent released the 2019 rates for New York’s Paid Family Leave Program (PFL). In short, the PFL premium rate will be increasing by roughly 21%, to 0.153% of wages, not to exceed an annual maximum contribution of $107.97. This is based on State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW), also increasing for 2019 – see below.

The superintendent has further decided to apply the statutory increases in PFL benefits for calendar year 2019, meaning that the benefit will increase to 10 weeks at 55% of pay (capped at the SAWW) as intended.

Below are a few highlights from the notice for 2019:

  • PFL benefits remain community rated.
  • The 2019 rate is set at .153%, up from .126%. (This is the maximum amount an employer can deduct from wages, and the maximum amount the insurance carriers can charge in premium.)
  • Deductions are confirmed as .153% of an employee’s gross wages each period, not to exceed an annual maximum of $107.97. The notice cautions that “Employers shall collect employee contributions consistent with this decision.”
  • The SAWW used for 2019 is $1,357.11, an annualized rate of $70,569.72

As 2019 approaches, we will continue to discuss the PFL program with some perspective on the successes and potential “traps” from the first year.  Rose & Kiernan, Inc. is here to discuss all of these issues, and any other uncertainties surrounding year two of PFL implementation, so reach out to us today! The State has also been diligent in maintaining their PFL website, including a robust FAQ.

Finally, for all employers subject to FMLA, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certification forms and notices have been finalized. There are no substantive changes to the forms, but each is valid for three more years, expiring August 31, 2021.  FMLA forms and notices can be found here.

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