Having a baby is an exciting event in your life. Whether it is your first or you are already a seasoned parent, every new child is truly a blessing. One worry that many parents have, however, is how it will impact their employment. Fortunately for both moms and dads in New York, most employees will qualify for paid family leave. Learning about the eligibility requirements will help you to prepare for the future, and know what to expect in your position.
The following eligibility requirements are the minimum requirements required by state law. Many employers have their own policies that are more generous than what is strictly required, so while this article will provide an excellent starting point, you should reach out to your manager or HR department to get the specific policy from your company.
Hours Per Week & Years of Service
In order to qualify for paid family leave, employees need to be with the company for a set amount of time, and work a minimum number of hours per week. The breakdown is as follows:
- Schedule of 20+ hours per week – Employees who have a regular work schedule of 20+ hours per week will qualify for paid family leave after they have been employed with the company for 26 weeks.
- Schedule of less than 20 hours per week – Any employee who is scheduled for less than 20 hours per week (on average) will qualify for this benefit after 175 days worked.
In most cases, paid family leave is used after giving birth to a child. This is not, however, the only time that you can use this important benefit. Some additional situations where you can qualify for paid time off include:
- Adoption or fostering a child
- Caring for a close relative (spouse, child, parent, grandparent, etc.)
- Active duty deployment (when a close relative has been notified that they will be called into active military duty)
These events don’t always qualify for full benefits. Depending on the situation, you may qualify for anything from simple protection for your job when you return, to full pay while you are gone. Talk with your HR representative to go over your specific benefits.
Protecting Your Rights
Paid family leave must be provided by employers in most situations. If your employer refuses to offer these benefits, or is taking action to try to get out of them, it is important to act quickly. Contact Susan Crumiller to go over the details of your situation and see what your legal options may be.