Can an Employee Opt Out of Paid Family Leave?

February 5, 2018
Learn who can opt out and best practices for educating employees.

Surprised to hear that some employees can opt out of New York's Paid Family Leave program? After all, it's a mandatory benefit for covered employers to provide their employees — just like DBL.*

There are a few exceptions. Certain employees may opt out of PFL under the limited scenarios shown below.

Filing and Managing PFL Waivers

2 Best Practices

  1. Educate employees who would qualify for the waiver about their options. This is especially important if you withhold PFL premium from them.
  2. Have employees confirm a waiver decision in writing always. Even if you know they won't meet the eligibility requirements.

To opt out, employees must file the PFL Waiver form with their employer. You’ll need to keep the waiver on file for as long as the employee is working for you, whether the waiver is still in force or not.

What if an employees schedule no longer falls below the threshold? The PFL waiver will be automatically invalid within eight weeks of the change. At that time, you must start counting that employee for premium purposes. Begin or re-start their payroll deductions. And be sure to include any retroactive amounts back to the date of hire or the start of your PFL program.

To find out more about PFL and other regulations that affect employees, 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 about New York Paid Family Leave, visit:


* If employees fall under an excluded class definition, Paid Family Leave may not be a mandatory benefit.


PFL Administration / New York