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New York State Paid Family Leave Act goes into effect Jan. 1

Beginning Jan. 1, the Paid Family Leave Act (PFL) goes into effect for most employers in New York State, including the University of Rochester. PFL offers job-protected, paid leave to eligible employees for the purpose of caring for a close relative with a serious health condition; assisting a family member, due to another family member’s active military duty or impending active duty abroad; or bonding with a newborn or newly placed child.

Many University employees—about two-thirds of the employee base—will automatically receive PFL as a benefit starting in the new year. However, there is a group of University employees who, according to New York State’s Workers Compensation Board, will need to vote in order for this group to be PFL-eligible. Faculty and staff in this group, which is largely made up of employees with specific advanced academic degrees and/or licenses, will receive a direct email from the Office of Human Resources requesting their participation in the important online vote.

Human Resources has developed a full FAQ. 

New York State has outlined a phased-in approach for employees taking advantage of this new benefit: in 2018, up to 8 weeks of paid leave is available at 50 percent of pay; beginning in 2021, the benefit goes up to 12 weeks of paid leave at 67 percent of pay.

PFL will be employee-funded through a payroll deduction determined annually by New York State. In 2018, the rate will be 0.126 percent of an eligible employee’s weekly wage, capped at $85.56 per year. Beginning Jan. 1, all eligible employees will see this deduction come out of their regular paycheck, regardless if they ever elect to use PFL.

Human Resources is holding several information sessions for employees to attend and ask any PFL-related questions. The sessions are:

River Campus:

  • Thursday, Dec. 14: 11 a.m. to noon in Gowen Conference Room #216 in Wilson Commons
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. in Gowen Conference Room #216 in Wilson Commons

Medical Center:

  • Thursday, Dec. 14: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Class of ’62 Auditorium, G-9425
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19: 8 to 9 a.m. in Class of ’62 Auditorium, G-9425
  • Thursday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m. to noon in Class of ’62 Auditorium, G-9425



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