31 October 2017

Trick or Treat With Paid Family Leave

Trick or Treat With Paid Family Leave

Has Paid Family Leave got you spooked? Getting ready for PFL to roll out on January 1st might seem like walking into a haunted house without a flashlight, but it doesn’t have to be. At ShelterPoint, we hear a lot of questions, concerns, and misconceptions about Paid Family Leave. We want to make sure that you and/or your business are armed and ready for what’s coming, and to help clear the cobwebs around some of the worries you have about PFL.


Trick: I probably don’t qualify.
A lot of people think that, because they don’t work full time, they won’t qualify for Paid Family Leave. Or maybe you work as a personal assistant or a domestic employee like a nanny or a gardener. Or perhaps as a business owner, you think you might be exempt because you only have three or four employees. You probably don’t qualify right?

Treat: Actually, you probably do qualify!
Paid Family Leave was designed to be as inclusive as possible. 
You are eligible for coverage if you are an employee who physically works in New York State and you:

  • work at least 20 hours per week at the same private-sector company for at least 26 consecutive weeks,
  • work less than 20 hours per week and have completed at least 175 work days for the same employer,
  • are a personal or domestic employee who works at least 40 hours a week for 30 or more days in a calendar year,

If you’re a business owner, you must provide DBL, and thereby PFL, if you are:

  • a private-sector employer located in New York State with more than 1 employee
  • a private-sector employer with at least 1 employee who works in New York State
  • an employer of domestic employees including nannies, maids, etc., in New York State

The rule of thumb is: If you are a business which currently provides NYS short-term disability (DBL), or if you are an employee who is covered under DBL, then you qualify for Paid Family Leave as well.

There are some employee types that are excluded from PFL, and there are some employers that are exempt as well. If you are a public employer, like a

  • School district
  • Municipality
  • Town, Village, City, of XYZ
  • State of New York

then you are exempt from Paid Family Leave. You can also see the full list of exemptions, exclusions, and voluntary coverage options in our ABCs of PFL.


Trick: It isn’t worth it.
You may be thinking, even if the money is so small, I’ll probably never use it given my current circumstances. My family members are all healthy, my partner or I aren’t pregnant, I don’t want kids, and I don’t know anyone in the military.  When would I ever need it?

Treat: Paid Family Leave is there when you do need it.
Think of Paid Family Leave like your health insurance or your car insurance. You’re healthy, your family is healthy, you’re a safe driver — but you can never plan for the future. Because no one ever plans to get sick, or have a heart attack, or end up in a car accident, you have insurance there to protect you when the unexpected does happen.

That’s how Paid Family Leave works. You may not need it now, but sometime in the future a family member could fall seriously ill, you could find yourself getting ready to have, adopt, or foster a child, or a family member may join the military and get sent overseas.


Trick: As an employer, this is going to put an extra burden on my company and me.
With all the paperwork that comes with government programs, updating and informing the employees about the program, managing and maintaining everything — how could I (or my HR person) handle it all? It’s too much work.

Treat: ShelterPoint is here to help you with Paid Family Leave.
We know that with every new program there are plenty of things that go bump in the night, which is why we have pulled together great resources to streamline the process and make things easier for you:


Don’t let the ghouls and goblins of the season get you spooked on Paid Family Leave. Let the PFL Experts at ShelterPoint keep the monsters at bay. If you have any questions about Paid Family Leave, please contact us at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com.



*Current NYSAWW is $ 1,305.92 as of March 31, 2017. NY Department of Labor releases the updated NYSAWW every March 31.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any PFL information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation,  and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding Paid Family Leave regulations. Have more questions? Email us at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com

«August 2022»