Skip to main content

Federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws – Part 2

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

In addition to the federal FMLA, New York has laws regarding pregnancy leave, adoptive parents leave, blood donation leave, bone marrow donation leave, military spouse leave and paid family leave (effective Jan. 1, 2018).

The comparison chart below continues our review of federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws regarding the type of leave and criteria for a serious health condition/serious injury or illness.

Family and Medical Leave in New York



Type of Leave

leave for:

birth of employee’s newborn child;

placement of child with employee for
adoption or foster care;

providing care for employee's parent,
child or spouse with a serious health condition;

employee’s own serious health

any qualifying exigency when employee’s spouse, child or parent
is on active duty or is notified of impending call or order to active duty in
Armed Forces; or

caring for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a
covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

Pregnancy leave: Employers cannot
discriminate on the basis of sex and must treat disability arising from
pregnancy in the same manner as other disabilities. New York has a temporary
disability insurance program that requires employers to provide short-term
disability insurance for their employees. Employers are required to provide
partial wage replacement for up to 26 weeks to employees who are temporarily
unable to work due to disability. Pregnancy is considered a disability under
the program. 

Adoptive parents leave: Employers that
permit employees to take leaves of absence upon the birth of a child must
permit an adoptive parent, following commencement of parent-child
relationship, the same leave upon the same terms (unless the child has
reached school age or, in the case of a hard-to-place or handicapped child,
has reached age 18).

Blood donation leave: At the
employer’s option, either:

unpaid leave to donate blood off of
the employer’s premises; or

blood donation during work hours
without use of any accumulated leave time or other paid time off.

Bone marrow donation leave: Unpaid
leave to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow.

Military spouse leave: Unpaid leave
during the time the military member is on leave from deployment.

Paid family leave (effective Jan.
1, 2018): An employee may receive paid family leave benefits for the
following reasons:

to provide care to a family member
with a serious health condition;

to bond with the employee's child
during the first 12 months after the child's birth, or after the placement of
the child for adoption or foster care with the employee; or

for any qualifying exigency as
interpreted under the federal FMLA arising out of the fact that the spouse,
domestic partner, child or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has
been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the U.S. Armed

Paid family leave benefits will be
funded through employee paycheck deductions. Employers are not responsible
for contributing to or funding paid family leave benefits, but may choose to
do so. Employers may begin collecting employee contributions as of July 1,

Serious Health Condition/Serious Injury or Illness

Serious Health Condition:

injury, impairment or physical or mental condition involving incapacity or
treatment connected with inpatient care in hospital, hospice or residential
medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider
involving a period of incapacity due to:

a health condition lasting more than
three consecutive full calendar days and involving a certain level of

a chronic serious health condition or
a permanent or long-term condition for which treatment may be ineffective;

absences to receive multiple
treatments (including recovery periods) for a restorative surgery or for a
condition that if left untreated likely would result in incapacity of more
than three days; or

any incapacity related to pregnancy or
for prenatal care.

Serious Injury or Illness:

In the case of a member of the Armed Forces,
including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, an injury or illness
incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or
which existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by
service in the line of duty on active duty) that may render the member
medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or

For a veteran of the Armed Forces, including a
veteran of the National Guard or Reserves, an injury or illness incurred by
the member in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces (or which
existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in
the line of duty on active duty) and that manifested itself either before or
after the member became a veteran.

Paid family leave (effective Jan.
1, 2018): Serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or
physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital,
hospice or residential healthcare facility, continuing treatment or
continuing supervision by a healthcare provider.

Please note that the information in the above chart focuses on statewide laws. Employers must be aware that numerous cities across the country (including New York City) have enacted local ordinances that mandate employers provide paid sick leave to employees. An employer located in a city with a paid sick leave law must comply with the local ordinance and statewide law, if applicable.

Read about other federal and state areas of comparison in Federal vs. New York Family & Medical Leave Laws – Part 1. These comparison charts are provided for general informational purposes only. They are not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions or would like to begin talking to an employee benefits consultant, please get in touch by email or by calling (800) 388-1963.

Popular posts from this blog

What are Alternative Investments? 4-Part Introduction

The market has seen a lot of uncertainty in recent years. Because of this, many organizations are looking for new ways to diversify their investment portfolios. Our best-kept “not-so-secret” secret: alternative investments. In this blog, we'll explore alternative investments with a focus on how they can potentially shield your portfolios from downside market volatility. In addition, we'll break down its benefits and risks and whether it could be a good fit for you. Part 1: What are alternative investments? Alternative investments may help diversify your investment portfolios through non-traditional investment strategies. Non-traditional investment options have varying liquidity ranges depending on the strategy and fund structure. Alternative investments are sometimes referred to as alternative assets. According to the Harvard Business School , the seven types of alternative investments are: private equity; private debt; hedge funds; real estate; commodities; collectibles; and s

Employee benefits strategies: 5 budget-friendly ideas

Retirement and employee benefits help create a solid foundation for recruitment and retention. They’re also pivotal in enhancing job satisfaction, boosting productivity, encouraging employee well-being and increasing workplace morale. With the work landscape evolving rapidly, organizations are revisiting their offerings to develop stronger employee benefits strategies.  The first area most small- and mid-size employers investigate is quick, short-term ways to foster company culture. In this blog, we’ll cover budget-friendly ideas to improve your employee benefits initiatives. Think of them as smaller action items that can help you gain a competitive edge. Then, we’ll take a closer look at how customizing your benefits plan can support your new efforts.  1. Promote a healthy work culture  Investing in employee benefit plans is not just about fulfilling a checklist. It's about creating an environment where employees feel supported in both their professional and personal lives. Benefi

Section 125 – Cafeteria Plans Overview

A Section 125 plan, or cafeteria plan , allows employees to pay for certain benefits on a pre-tax basis. Employers use these plans to provide their employees with a choice between cash and certain qualified benefits without adverse tax consequences. Paying for benefits on a pre-tax basis reduces the employee’s taxable income and, therefore, reduces both the employee’s and the employer’s tax liability. To receive these tax advantages, a cafeteria plan must comply with the rules of Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code and related IRS regulations. Under these rules, a Section 125 plan must have a written plan document and can only offer certain qualified benefits on a tax-favored basis. Once an employee makes a Section 125 plan election, they may not change that election until the next plan year, unless the employee experiences a permitted election change event. Also, for highly compensated employees to receive the tax advantages associated with a Section 125 plan, the plan must pass