Central New York, Government, Health

Paid Family Leave Comes to New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo at a paid family leave rally in 2016. (c) 2016 governorandrewcuomo flickr

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Paid Family Leave

Central New York reacts to paid family leave law.

By Lileana Pearson SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into effect the New York State Paid Family Leave Law.

Starting next year the law will offer job-protection to families with sick loved ones, after the birth of a child, the adoption of a child, and allows families to stay with soldiers before they are deployed.

Maria Bonnetser, a Syracuse resident knows how important job leave can be to a family.

“My brother was ill and my sister-in-law took some time off to take care of him until he passed. It was a real important time for her in her life to be there for him.” Said Bonnetser

Her sister worked for a hospital at the time, and though she was encouraged to stay with her husband, she was not financially compensated.

The new law will require nearly all private companies to offer paid leave and will exist under employer’s disability policy, while public employers have the option of opting into the program.

Once the law goes into effect employees will receive compensation for eight weeks in 2018, steadily increasing until it reaches 12 weeks in 2021. However, employees will continue to contribute to their health care plans while not at work.

Some small businesses might find coving employees leave as a burden, but Eva Essi, owner of Mom’s Diner in Syracuse sees the law as a right all hard working employees should have.

“It’s a good program,” said Essi. “It would allow people to take time off without worrying about losing their jobs when times of need arrive.”

Expanding paid family leave in the United States has been a large conversation in past years. Governor Cuomo hopes this law is the next step of equality at home and work.