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Paid Family Leave on the Horizon in New York? -- Bill 3870 Passed by Assembly

    On March 17, 2015, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to establish paid family sick leave in the state.  Bill 3870 is sponsored by Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) and passed in the Assembly with a vote of 84-33.

    The bill requires employers to provide twelve weeks of paid leave for employees to care for newborns and sick family members.  If passed, employers and employees will pay into a fund, from which the employees will then draw.  Specifically, employers will be required to offer employees paid family leave and may have employees contribute up to $0.45 per week.  The employee contribution will guarantee the employee up to twelve weeks of paid family leave, cover two-thirds of the employee’s salary and guarantee job security during the leave.  Supporters of the bill note that allowing employees to earn a portion of their salary while out of work on family leave will strengthen the workforce, promote financial stability and provide long term social benefits.  Currently, the bill is with the Labor Committee for consideration.

    This is not the first time such legislation has appeared on the legislative agenda, with previous versions languishing in recent years.  The Senate included a proposal to provide such leave within the Senate one-house budget bill.  The iteration before the Senate would require the State to pay $125 million for the first year, to avoid another burden on employers, for up to six weeks' leave at approximately half salary, with limits.

    Stay tuned as we track the bill’s progress.