3/30/20 - NYS Employer Responsibilities Under Expanded Paid Family Leave

Taken directly from the New York State Website:

Employer Responsibilities: Your role in implementing the new COVID-19 quarantine leave provided through Paid Family Leave and disability benefits is largely the same as it has been for NY Paid Family Leave overall; however, there are new COVID-19-specific forms and attestations.

  • Inform yourself, then inform your employees: Make sure you understand the new law yourself. Let your employees know that these benefits are available to them, should they, or their minor dependent child, be subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation. If you have a specific process for handling these claims with your employees, advise them accordingly.

  • Respond to requests for leave: Familiarize yourself with your role in the request process for COVID-19-related Paid Family Leave and/or disability benefits. Here’s how the request process works:

Employee notifies you of their intent to request leave and gets the appropriate form package (or you can provide the forms to them)

Complete and return: Each request package has two forms, which have sections to be completed by the employee and you as the employer. The employee will fill out their portion of each form, keep a copy, and submit the package to you for completing your sections, which ask you to:

  • Provide the employee’s average weekly wage. An employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) is computed by adding his or her wages for the eight weeks prior to the start of Paid Family Leave, and dividing the total by eight. For a sole proprietor who has opted into Paid Family Leave, the average weekly wage will be the last 52 weeks of income divided by 52.

  • Attest that the employee has used any quarantine paid sick time and is not able to work remotely.

Keep a copy for your records and return the completed request package to the employee within three business days. If you fail to return the forms within three business days, the employee can proceed without your information. Employee submits to insurer: The employee is responsible for submitting their completed request package directly to your DB/PFL insurance carrier within 30 days of their first day of leave. Employees may ask you for the name and contact information of your insurance carrier. Employees may also access this information by calling the Paid Family Leave Helpline at (844) 337-6303. Insurer pays or denies benefits: The insurance carrier must pay or deny the employee’s request within 18 calendar days of receiving the completed request.

Ensure Other Protections: You are also responsible for ensuring important employee protections.

  • Job Protection: You must reinstate the employee to the same or a comparable position, upon returning from leave.

  • No discrimination: You cannot discriminate or retaliate against an employee for requesting or taking Paid Family Leave.

  • Continued health insurance: You must continue to provide health insurance on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work while they are on Paid Family Leave. If employees regularly contribute to the cost of their health insurance, they must continue to pay their portion of the cost while on leave.

Your professionals at Castellano Korenberg & Co. are always available to assist you through this tough time of trying to make sense of all the new regulations being passed. Stay up to date with the most recent information by visiting castellanokorenberg.comcall us at 516-937-9500, or contact your CK professional for more information.

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