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What is Paid Family Leave?

Making the decision to have a child and continue working is difficult for working parents. Many couples want to have children, but cannot afford to stop working and care for their children full time.

This is why some states have Paid Family Leave policies in place. New York has the strongest Paid Family Leave policy in the nation. The District of Columbia and just five other states—California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Washington—have such policies in place. This may be surprising to many people, considering that the United States is such an industrialized nation. Many countries have family leave policies that are superior. However, many states are looking to adopt family leave policies, such as Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Indiana.

New York’s Paid Family Leave policy offers many benefits. It gives eligible parents paid time off to bond with their new child, care for a family member with a medical condition, or assist loved ones when a family member is away on active military service. Paid Family Leave offers job protection, continued health insurance benefits and discrimination protection.

Paid Family Leave is different from the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. It applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. A person can take FMLA leave:

  • To care for a newborn child of an employee.
  • To adopt a child.
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • When they are unable to work due to a serious health condition.

Pros and Cons of Paid Family Leave

More and more states and employers are opting for Paid Family Leave programs to retain excellent workers. These programs offer flexibility so that employees do not have to make a choice as to whether they should stay with their company or quit and stay home with their new baby.

Millennials are also attracted to these policies because many plan to start a family. Some also enjoy the flexibility of these policies, as they do not have to choose between work and family.

While Paid Family Leave is great for new parents, some people may think otherwise. Those without children may be jealous of the policies, especially if they are treated differently. If they do not receive similar time off benefits or are forced to cover the work of co-workers with children, then these policies may rub them the wrong way. The same applies to employees with disabilities who may not get preferential treatment.

Contact a New York FMLA Lawyer

 New York has strong family leave policies in place. If your employer refused to allow you to take time off to bond with your new baby, they could face violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as the state’s Paid Family Leave program.

Protect your legal rights by entrusting your case to the experienced FMLA attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. We will help you understand your options so you can hold your employer liable for their actions. Schedule a consultation by calling our office at (347) 464-8694.

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