Paid Family Leave
New York City Attorneys Protecting Employees Against Discrimination
Many people around the country are understandably concerned about their finances when they are expecting a new child in the family, when a loved one gets ill, or when a family member is deployed in the military. Often, these situations call for somebody to leave work to provide caregiving. Fortunately for people in New York, the State of New York has a paid family leave policy. Signed by Governor Cuomo in 2016, it gives employees eligible for leave job-protected paid time off, along with continued health insurance and protection from discrimination or retaliation. Unpaid time off is also provided under federal law for some eligible workers of large companies. The New York City employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates are ready to help you assert your right to paid family leave.
Paid Family Leave for Bonding
Under New York state law, you may be able to take 10 weeks of paid time off to bond with your newborn within your newborn’s first 12 months, starting in 2019. You cannot take this time before the baby is born because of a prenatal condition. If your spouse and you work for the same company and want to take paid family leave at the same time, you may be able to do so unless the company objects.
You can also take 10 weeks of paid time off to bond with a newly adopted child within the first 12 months of your child’s adoption. Sometimes it is possible to take the paid family leave even before the finalization of the adoption, in case you need to be absent from work for the adoption to go forward. For example, if you need to go to another country to adopt your child from that country, you can include that travel time as part of your paid family leave. However, you will need to provide documentation to show that you have started the adoption process.
Similarly, if you become a foster parent, you can take paid family leave to bond with your newly fostered child within the first 12 months of the child being placed with you. Even if the child has not actually been placed, but you have been notified that a placement is pending, and you need to be absent from work for the placement to go forward, you may be able to take the paid family leave.
This 10 weeks of time off is job-protected, meaning that you should not need to worry about being terminated or subjected to retaliation. If you are, our attorneys can help you bring a cause of action against the employer. The leave law applies to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples expecting a newborn, adopted child, or foster child. Your employer’s insurer is supposed to pay benefits during the paid family leave.
Paid Leave for Family Care
You can take paid family leave to provide caregiving for a close family member who is suffering from a serious health condition, even if your family member is outside the state. The close family member can be a husband, wife, child, stepchild, person over whom you have legal custody, parent, grandparent, grandchild, stepparent, in-law, or domestic partner of the same or a different gender, regardless of whether the partnership is registered. Even if you are only responsible for a child’s daily care and stand in loco parentis, but you are not legally or biologically connected to a child, you may be able to take the paid family leave for that child. The insurer may ask for documentation to show your standing, or if a person for whom you need to care stood in loco parentis to you when you were a child, the insurer may ask for documentation to show that.
Military Family Leave
Another reason for which you can take paid family leave under New York law is if you need time to help with family situations that come up when your spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent is actively serving in a foreign country or has been notified that they will need to serve. The paid family leave can be taken in situations analogous to those provided for military leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In other words, it can be taken for a number of reasons, including for a military member’s recuperation, military events, or short-notice military deployment.
Seek Advice from an Employment Discrimination Attorney in New York City
If you have faced discrimination or retaliation for taking paid family leave in New York City or surrounding areas under the new state law, you should consult Phillips & Associates. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or contact us through our online form. Our attorneys handle employment cases in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, as well as Westchester County and Long Island.
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