Beginning January 1, 2023, the amount of weekly benefits and eligible family members under the New York State Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA) will change.  The PFLA, which took effect in 2018, provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid time off to bond with a child, care for a sick family member, or assist family when a service member is deployed abroad. The time can be taken all at once or in increments of full days.

Currently, the list of family members for whom eligible workers can take Paid Family Leave to care for includes spouses, domestic partners, children, step-children, parents, step-parents, parent-in-laws, grandparents, and grandchildren. These family members can live outside of New York State, and even outside of the country. Under the new changes, this list will be expanded to include biological siblings, adopted siblings, stepsiblings, and half-siblings.

Employees taking Paid Family Leave receive 67% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 67% of the current New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW). For 2023, the NYSAWW is $1,688.19, which means the maximum weekly benefit is $1,131.08. This is $62.72 more than the maximum weekly benefit for 2022.

New York State Paid Family Leave is essentially a type of insurance that may be funded by employees through payroll deductions. Although benefits are expanding to cover more family members this upcoming year, the contribution rate has gone down. For 2023, employees will contribute 0.455% of their gross wages per pay period. The maximum annual contribution for 2023 is $399.43, being $24.28 less than 2022. Employees earning less than the current NYSAWW of $1,688.19 will contribute less than the annual cap of $399.43, consistent with their actual wages.

Employers should confirm their 2023 Paid Family Leave premiums with their insurance carriers and coordinate with their payroll providers to make sure that the 2023 payroll will include the correct contribution rates.  Written employment policy documents will also need to be updated if they include the specific PFLA benefit or deduction levels.

If you have questions about the PFLA, please contact us.