New York, NY – Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill that expands New York State’s Paid Family Leave legislation to allow caring for siblings. Under the current law, employees cannot take leave to care for a sibling with a serious health condition.
The new law adds to the Paid Family Leave legislation that was enacted in 2016, which created one of the most comprehensive paid family leave programs in the nation. In effect since 2018, New York’s Paid Family Leave program provides workers with job-protected, paid time off to bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child; care for a family member with a serious health condition (which may include severe cases of COVID-19), or assist loved ones when a member of the family is deployed abroad on active military service. Paid Family Leave may also be available in some situations when an employee or their minor, dependent child is under an order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off at 67% of their pay (up to a cap) to care for family members in times of need.
Currently, Paid Family Leave family care covers caring for spouses, domestic partners, children and step-children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren with a serious health condition. The new law expands the definition of “family members” expands to include siblings. This includes biological siblings, adopted siblings, step-siblings and half-siblings. These family members can live outside of New York State, and even outside of the country.
The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.