NEW YORK - New York is now implementing one of the most comprehensive paid family leave policies in the United States - and AARP wants to answer your questions about it.
It went into effect on January 1st, and elements of it will be phased in over four years, according to AARP.
Watch our AARP experts discussing the Paid Family Leave during our web chat:
Watch Part 1
Watch Part 2
Paid Family Leave AARP web chat - Part 1
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New York's Paid Family Leave Program: Part 2
AARP New York and the Paid Family Leave Coalition fought for the law saying caregivers should not have to choose between loved ones and their job. In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York State Family Leave Program into law, and expressed why he personally feels paid family leave is a right all workers should have.
"Life is such a precious gift, and I have kicked myself every day that I didn't spend more time with my father at that end period," he said at his State of the State address.
Here's a look at key components of the program:
What are the benefits?
The benefits will be phased in over a four-year period. Starting in 2018, employees - both full- and part-time - who have been at their jobs for six months can collect up to 50% of their pay. They can take up to eight weeks of time off. In 2019 and 2020, that period increases to 10 weeks.
When the program is fully implemented in 2021, workers can take 67% of their weekly salary for 12 weeks.
How does it work?
New York state will fund the paid family leave through weekly paycheck deductions. Workers are entitled to keep their health benefits while on leave and are entitled to return to their jobs at the end of their leave, under the new rules.
Currently, there is no federal paid family leave policy on the books in the U.S. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the federal program requiring employers to offer some level of time for care.