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Client Memo NYS Increased Minimum Wage and Paid Family Leave Law

On April 4, 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law a twelve (12) week paid family leave policy and a $15 state minimum wage rate across all industries, both of which will be phased in over the next five years.

Twelve (12) Week Paid Family Leave

New York State has joined four other states (New Jersey, California, Rhode Island and Washington) in enacting a paid family leave law. The law, which is the broadest in the country, will require employers to provide employees with up to twelve (12) weeks of paid, job-protected leave when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition, or to relieve family pressures when someone is on active military service or on notice of a call or order to active duty. The law will be phased in as follows:

  • Beginning in 2018, an employee can take up to eight (8) weeks of paid leave at a rate of 50 percent of his or her average weekly wage, capped to 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage
  • Over the next two years, the amount of paid leave will increase to ten (10) weeks and the rate of pay will cap at 60 percent of the statewide average weekly wage
  • The law will be fully implemented in 2021, when employees can take up to twelve (12) weeks of paid leave at a rate of 67 percent of their average weekly wage, capped to 67 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
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