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Protecting Your Rights in the Workplace

Family Medical Leave Act vs. Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Leave vs. Family Medical Leave

Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) is available starting in 2018 in New York at the state level protecting time off with partial pay for family reasons, either to expand or care for family.  

Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides benefits at the federal level for unpaid protected time off for major health and family leave events

Job Protection

Employees who take family leave under either the PFL or FMLA are entiltled to return to their same position, or its equivalent in pay and benefits.

If you are entitled to both PFL and FMLA, they will run concurrently.  PFL time can’t be added to FMLA to extend an employee’s total leave time.

Eligible Employees

FMLA: For employees working for any organization in the U.S. with 50 or more employees, who have worked for their current employer for 12 consecutive months, working at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding leave.

PFL: Employees working more than 20 hours / week and have worked current job 26 weeks. For employees working less than 20 hours, after 175 days working for current employer.

What Benefits Can You Use It For

  • FMLA provides time off to care for your own injury or illness.
  • PFL only applies to a family members health.
  • Employees can use both FMLA and PFL to bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster child.

Vacation and sick time still at employer’s discretion, as long as equal for all employees. Under FMLA, employers have option to require using existing personal days when on leave. However under the PFL, employers cannot require an employee to use their vacation or sick days on leave.

Qualifying Family Members

Under the FMLA, a family member only includes spouse, child, and parent. PFL qualifies family members as spouse, child. parent, domestic partners and grandparents.

For more information, read our detailed summary of Paid Family Leave in New York.