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New York State Paid Family Leave

In accordance with the New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL), Fordham University provides eligible employees with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition, or help relieve family pressures when a family member is called to active military service. The PFL Program is financed solely through employee payroll deductions.

Eligibility:

  • Employees with a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment. The 26-week period will be tolled during any periods of absence that are due to the nature of that employment, such as semester breaks.

  • Employees with a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after they have completed 175 days of work at Fordham University.

Employees who become eligible for leave under the PFL will remain eligible throughout their entire period of employment with Fordham.

Waiver:

Employees who do not qualify for the minimum amount of time required for eligibility may voluntarily waive coverage by completing the PFL-Waiver Form and certifying that:

  1. He/she regularly works 20 hours or more per week, but will not work 26 consecutive weeks, or
  2. He/she works less than 20 hours per week, but will not work 175 days in a 52 consecutive week period.

Employees who are eligible to waive PFL benefits and wish to do so must file a waiver form with Human Resources. Employees who file a waiver form will not make any contributions for PFL benefits and will not be eligible to receive PFL benefits.

This waiver is optional and revocable and may be revoked by the employee at any time. If the schedule of an employee who has waived PFL benefits changes such that it is anticipated that the employee will become eligible to receive PFL benefits, the waiver will be revoked and the employee must start making contributions on a going forward basis and must pay retroactive contributions to the employee’s date of hire.

Contributions:

New York’s Paid Family Leave is paid for by employees. The employee contribution in 2019 will be 0.153% of an employee’s weekly wage up to the annualized New York State Average Weekly Wage. 

Leave Entitlement:

Employees may take the maximum benefit length in any given 52-week period. The maximum benefit is currently ten weeks and is scheduled to increase in 2021 (See Chart Below)

In 2019 employees receive up to 55% of their average weekly wage, capped at the maximum benefit of one-half of New York State's Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW). In 2018, the maximum weekly benefit is $746.41.

Year Weeks Available

Max % of Employee Average Weekly Wage

Cap % of State Average Weekly Wage

2019 10 55% 55%
2020 10 60% 60%
2021 12 67% 67%

Reasons for Leave

Employees who are eligible for leave under the PFL may request leave for any of the following reasons:

  • Bond with the employee’s new child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, or the first 12 months after the child’s placement for adoption or foster care placement with the employee.

  • Provide care for a family member with a serious illness. The definition of family member includes a biological or legal relationship and in “loco Parentis” in definitions of child and parent. These include:

    • Spouse
    • Grandchild (including biological, step-grandchildren)
    • Grandparent (including biological, step-grandparents and grandparents-in-law)
    • Parent (including biological and step-parents)
    • Child and Stepchild (no age limit)
    • Domestic partner

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • impatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or

  • continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider.

The employee experiences a “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is on’ active duty military service or has been notified of an impending call to active duty. Qualifying exigencies include:

  • attending certain military events
  • arranging for alternative childcare
  • caring for a military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care when the care is necessitated by the members covered active duty
  • addressing certain financial and legal arrangements
  • attending certain counseling sessions
  • spending time with a military member who is on a short-term temporary rest and recuperation leave during deployment
  • attending post-deployment reintegration briefings

Use of Leave

Eligible employees may take up to the maximum duration in any given 52 consecutive week period. The 52-week period is measured from the first day the employee takes Paid Family Leave.

PFL can be taken intermittently, in full day increments only. Eligible employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule intermittent leave so as not to unduly disrupt the University’s operations.

Employees may request using accrued and available vacation time during PFL in lieu of receiving the paid family leave benefit, but are not required to use vacation time. Accrued and available vacation time must be used in full-day increments and will be deducted from the employee’s vacation balance. For any period of the leave covered by accrued and available vacation time, the PFL payment will be remitted directly to the University. An employee cannot earn more than 100% of his/her salary. Using accrued time will not extend the maximum duration of the leave. If a period of family leave is determined to be covered by PFL, and if the employee declines to apply for payment under the PFL Program and chooses instead to use available vacation time, the University will still deduct the leave from the employee’s annual available PFL benefit.

It should be noted that New York State places a cap of 26 weeks combined for NYS disability leave and PFL in any 52 week period.

Leave Concurrent with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):

FMLA and PFL will run concurrent for any employee who is eligible for both types of leave. Employees will be provided with required notices regarding applicable leave benefits for each leave of absence.

Claim Procedure

When an employee has a foreseeable situation, he/she should provide Human Resources with 30 days advance notice of the intention to use Paid Family Leave. If the event is not foreseeable, the employee must notify Human Resources as soon as practical.

Human Resources will provide the employee with a claim form package for the employee to complete and submit to the insurance company within 3 days of their first day of paid leave. The insurance carrier will process the claim and issue a determination to the employee.

Please contact Deborah Lugo, Manager of Benefits Administration, at 718-817-4933 or dlugo@fordham.edu to receive the claim materials.

When filing a Paid Family Leave claim, the employee must submit supporting documentation to the insurance carrier, as detailed below:

Childbirth/Foster Care Placement/Adoption

All leaves to bond with a child requires an employee complete PFL-2.

The documentation required to support the application for a claim for Paid Family Leave to bond with a newly-born child depends on whether the applicant is the birth mother or the second parent.

The birth mother must submit a birth certificate, if available, or documentation of pregnancy or birth from a health care provider. The document must include the mother’s name and the child’s due date or birth date. The second parent must submit, if available, a birth certificate naming them as a parent. If a birth certificate naming the second parent is not available, the second parent may submit a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or a Court Order of Filiation naming them as a parent.

If those documents are not available, the second parent can submit birth documentation from the birth mother’s health care provider and either a marriage certificate or evidence of a civil union or domestic partnership to demonstrate the relationship to the birth mother.

If none of these documents are available, the second parent may submit other documentary evidence of parental relationship to the child, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the carrier.

In addition to PFL-2, leave to bond with a fostered child requires the submission of a letter of placement issued by a county or city department of social services or local voluntary agency. If a second parent is not named in documentation, a copy of the document plus a document verifying the relation to the parent named in the foster care placement will be needed.

Adoption

A claim for Paid Family Leave to bond with an adopted child requires a court document finalizing adoption or, for Paid Family Leave taken before the adoption is complete, a document showing that the adoption process is underway. Examples of proof of a pending adoption include a signed statement from an attorney, adoption agency or adoption-related social service provider that the employee is in the process of adopting a child.

If the second parent is not named in that document, they must also file documentation verifying the relationship to the parent named in the adoption.

Serious Health Condition

An employee is required to complete the employee section of PFL-4 and to provide and ask the recipient of the intended care to have their healthcare provider complete the remainder of PFL-4. In addition, the recipient of the care must complete Form PFL-3, which is kept on file with the recipient’s health care provider.

An authorization for personal health disclosure form is required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule and must be completed by the care recipient and retained on file with the health care provider in order to submit the required medical information.

Active Military Duty Deployment

A claim for Paid Family Leave to assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty generally requires either a PFL-5 “Military Qualifying Event” certification or a US Department of Labor “Certificate of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave.” Those forms include (1) military documentation of the family member’s deployment or impending deployment (active duty orders or other notice from the military) and (2) documentation of the reason for leave.

Job and Benefits Protection

Any eligible employee who exercises his or her right to PFL will, upon expiration of that leave, be entitled to be restored to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced, or to a comparable position with comparable benefits and pay. The taking of leave covered by PFL will not result in the loss of employment benefits accrued prior to the date on which the leave commenced (unless such accrued benefits, such as paid time off, were used during the PFL leave).  Employees will not accrue any additional benefits during the period of PFL leave that is not paid through use of accrued leave benefits, unless otherwise required by law.

Medical Coverage

During any PFL taken pursuant to this policy, the University will maintain coverage under any existing group health insurance benefits plan if the employee is eligible and has elected coverage, as if the employee has continued to work. As such, an employee is required to continue paying the employee’s portion of the cost of coverage (unless an employee elects not to continue any of the employee’s medical or other group insurance coverages). While on leave, if the employee is receiving a paycheck from the University, he/she will continue to have benefits deductions taken out of each paycheck according to their regular pay schedule. If the employee is not receiving a paycheck from the University, all benefits deductions will be held in arrears and will be deducted from the first paycheck received after the end of the leave.