Changes Ahead in New York for Paid Family Leave and Employer Reimbursement for COVID-19 Tests

New York State’s employers and residents will once again be impacted by changes in its policies involving paid family leave and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this time around, the two issues are unrelated.


New York State’s Department of Financial Services (“New York”) recently issued a decision addressing the changes to be made in regard to maximum benefit, benefit percentage, maximum covered wages, premium rate and maximum employee contribution for PFL for 2021. The full release can be found here:

https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/09/pfl_rate_decision_2021.pdf


Increase in 2021 Paid Family Leave Benefits

Pursuant to Workers Compensation Law § 204(2), Family Leave Benefits will increase to 67% of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 67% of the statewide average weekly wage ($1,450.17), which is $971.61 per week, for up to 12 weeks of leave.


2021 Premium Rate for Family Leave Benefits and Maximum Employee Contribution

The premium rate for Family Leave Benefits for coverage beginning January 1, 2021 will be a total of 0.511% of an employee’s wages for each pay period up to and not to exceed an annual maximum employee contribution of $385.34.


If an employee’s contributions reach the annual maximum employee contribution of $385.34 before the end of the calendar year, the employee shall not be liable for any additional contributions for that year.

Reimbursement for COVID-19 Tests in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Additionally, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board issued an emergency rule making on August 17, 2020, effective for 90 days, that allows for reimbursement for COVID-19 testing when benefits are sought due to a work-place exposure to COVID-19 or when testing for COVID-19 is administered as part of a required pre-operative testing protocol in accordance with Department of Health. Additional guidance and the amendment from the Workers’ Compensation Board, including billing codes, can be found here:

https://www.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2020/090220.pdf


Our Firm has extensive experience counseling employers and businesses on employee and labor law issues, and preparing applicable employee policies, particularly relating to the evolving regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions related to this Legal Briefing or questions related to COVID-19 reopening rules and procedures, please contact any member of our Firm at 585-730-4773.

For more COVID-19 Legal Updates, please visit our resource page.


This Legal Briefing is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or counsel. The substance of this Legal Briefing is not intended to cover all legal issues or developments regarding the matter. Please consult with an attorney to ascertain how these new developments may relate to you or your business. © 2020 Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC

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