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New York Paid Family Leave Expanded to Care for Siblings

New York Paid Family Leave Expanded to Care for SiblingsFor years, many New Yorkers have faced the strenuous decision of choosing between caring for the health and well-being of siblings versus the paycheck that could financially support their families.  Since the inception of the New York Paid Family Leave Policy in 2016, which was put in effect in 2018, New Yorkers have been protected under the policy when a number of events occur, including but not limited to protection for the care of a newborn infant as well as the ability to take paid time off to care for a parent, child, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, or grandchild with a serious medical health condition. Eligible workers were able to take up to twelve weeks off at 67% of their pay (up to a cap) in order to care for those family members.

However, while the passing of the Family Leave Policy in New York was considered “the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy,” one neglected area was for the care of a sibling with a serious medical health condition.  For thousands of New Yorkers who were the only means of care and support for their siblings, they were stuck with the very same dilemma the lawmakers were attempting to avoid, the choice between economics and family.

Thankfully, this is no more.  On November 1, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill S2928A into law, which modified the current Family Leave Policy to include siblings. The bill goes on to describe siblings as “biological or adopted sibling, a half-sibling, or stepsibling,” ensuring that all who have faced this terrible decision before can now take comfort in supporting their siblings in a difficult time.

While the Bill takes effect on January 1, 2023, the passing of this Bill represents a significant step forward in the battle for workers’ rights and will ensure that more people will not need to choose between their paycheck and taking care of family and provides flexibility for those who face turbulent times within their own household.

If you have faced difficulties in obtaining your paid family leave, please contact Borrelli & Associates P.L.L.C. at (516) 248-5550.

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