Updates on State Laws: New York, Nevada, and Washington

New York State Paid Family Leave Finalized

On July 19, New York Governor Cuomo announced the final regulations implementing the New York Paid Family Leave Program (NYPFL).  NYPFL will provide income replacement, job protection, and continuation of insurance for employees who take leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member or assist when a family member is deployed on active military duty.  Private employers will need to obtain Paid Family Leave coverage for their employees effective January 1, 2018.
New York PFL provides a 50% weekly benefit for up to 8 weeks of leave beginning in 2018 and will gradually phase in increases to the benefit and duration to cap at a 67% weekly benefit up to 12 weeks in 2021.
What should employers with New York employees do now?

  • Employers should reach out to their New York Disability Benefits (NYDBL) carrier to obtain Paid Family Leave coverage.
  • Include New York Paid Family Leave information in the employee handbook or equivalent employee materials.
  • Display a poster regarding New York Paid Family Leave coverage in your place of business.  This poster will be available from your insurance carrier.

A fact sheet from the New York Workers’ Compensation Board is available here: https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/PFL_Employer_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act

On June 2, Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, signed SB 253, the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act into law expanding the protections for pregnant employees.  The Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to female employees or applicants due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.  The Act also makes it unlawful for employers to take adverse action against an employee due to the request and or use of an accommodation.  Nevada employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the new Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act which goes into effect October 1, 2017.  Notice requirements which went into effect in June of 2017, require a general notice be posted in the work place.  The Act also requires employers to notify employees of their rights upon commencement of employment and within 10 days of an announcement of pregnancy.

Washington State Becomes the 5th State to Pass Paid Leave

On July 5, 2017, Washington joined Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii and California as Governor, Jay Inslee, signed SB 5975 into law.  The Washington law will provide 12 weeks of paid leave for purposes of bonding with a new child, caring for a seriously ill family member, military exigency, and for an employee’s own serious health condition.  Two extra weeks are allowed for pregnancy complications.  The program goes into effect January 1, 2020 and will be funded by employee contributions.  Employers may deduct the premiums beginning January 1, 2019. Washington State previously passed a paid family leave law in 2007 but due to the recession the program was never funded.

The Larkin Company is here to help.  Please contact us and we will schedule a time to review your plans and policies.