Be Prepared: The Administrative Basics of Paid Family Leave

September 8, 2017
You could be handling employees on PFL as early as January 2018. Here’s a look at what you’ll be working with.

When New York Paid Family Leave law goes into effect on Jan. 1, employees will have the right to take leave immediately. To help you get ready, here’s a look at some administrative basics.

How will employees file a claim for Paid Family Leave?

The process to file for PFL will be similar to filing for disability benefits. Most customers will complete a paper claim form packet and submit it via mail or fax. Note that employees should provide 30-day notice of their intent to use PFL whenever they can. For a qualifying event that’s more sudden, notification is expected as soon as reasonably possible. When the event is foreseeable and an employee fails to give at least 30 days advance notice, the employer may deny the leave for up to 30 days.

Can employees take Paid Family Leave for past events?

Employees who experienced a birth, adoption or foster placement of a new child in 2017 may qualify for PFL bonding leave in 2018. They must claim leave within 52 weeks of the qualifying event.

Can employees combine Disability Benefits Law payments and Paid Family Leave?

Employees cannot use DBL and PFL concurrently. In some circumstances, however, they use them in succession. For example, DBL is appropriate for pregnancy and delivery, followed by PFL for bonding leave. When an event qualifies for both DBL and PFL, employees may choose either one. In a rolling 52-week period, an employee may not exceed a total of 26 paid weeks of DBL and PFL combined.

Does the leave have to be taken all at once?

Employees have the option to take PFL in a consecutive block or incrementally. The smallest time block is one full day.

When leave is taken at different times, is it considered separate events?

In some cases, an employee may take PFL repeatedly for a single qualified event. If the leave dates are separated by less than three months, it will be treated as the same event. For this type of recurrence, individuals are eligible only for the remaining amount of benefit level and leave time they initially qualified for. This applies even if the leave crosses into a new calendar year. If the leave dates are separated by three or more months, they will be treated as separate events. The employee will still be subject to the 26-week cap within a rolling 52-week period.

Can spouses or relatives take leave at the same time?

When spouses or relatives have different employers, they may take PFL at the same time. If they work for the same employer, the employer can deny simultaneous PFL.

More questions — and answers

We know you'll have more questions — and we'll keep providing answers. Check back often for more resources and details. Follow The Standard on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with the hashtag #PaidFamilyLeave, and subscribe to this blog's RSS feed to receive updated content as new information becomes available. For more details, visit:


PFL Administration / New York