In February, Gov. Cuomo announced the release of proposed regulations for the implementation of New York’s paid family leave program, which will begin operating in January 2018. The draft regulations are intended to provide guidance to employers, insurance carriers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under the law. The state has also launched a web site to educate the public and employers about the program.

Once the state’s Paid Family Leave program is fully phased-in in 2021, employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave (at 67% of their salary, capped at 67% of the state’s average weekly wage) to care for a new child, a close relative with a serious health condition or relieve the pressures created when a family member is called to active military service.

We will be keeping a close eye on this program and its implementation. The Governor promised that this program would not cost employers anything, and that it will cost employees no more than $1 per week. Our fear is that the state has under-estimated the actual costs of the program, and that the Governor and Legislature may look to employers or taxpayers to fill make up the difference.