Does Your State Have New Family Leave Laws This Year?

Jellyvision Industry Insights

New York, New Jersey, and California upgraded their family leave laws last year, and many more states are heading in that direction. What might that mean for you? Read on to find out!

New York State

New York now guarantees paid leave to employees, and this coverage is mandatory! You can either cover the premiums yourself or pass on the cost to employees as a payroll deduction.

The state’s policy:

  • Applies to employees who need to bond with a new child, care for a sick or injured family member, or handle family needs associated with a military deployment
  • Protects more part-time and low-tenure workers than federal FMLA
  • Provides employees 50% of pay (up to $653/week) for up to eight weeks in 2018
  • Will provide 67% of pay for up to twelve weeks by 2021


  • Make sure you have appropriate PFL coverage in place for New York State employees
  • Check if this coverage intersects with other policies you might have, like Parental Leave
  • If you have employees in New York and other states, think about whether you want to change your leave policy for everyone
  • Train your managers to talk to employees about the changes, and help them figure out how to handle employee leaves

New Jersey and California

New Jersey increased their weekly maximum benefit payment.

Also, California bumped up the percentage of leave pay from 55% to either 60% or 70%, depending on employee income. They also increased the payment ceiling, and eliminated a one-week waiting period for PFL benefits.


  • Update any documentation that mentions California and/or New Jersey benefits.
  • Communicate the changes to all employees who will be impacted.

Who’s Next?

  • Washington State is expected to implement Paid Family Leave in January of 2020.
  • The District of Columbia is targeting Universal Paid Leave in July of 2020.
  • Eleven other states* have a proposed PFL provision somewhere in the legislative process!


Set up a Google Alert to see if anything’s brewing in your neck of the woods.

Want Help Keeping Your Blood Pressure In Check When These Huge Changes Happen?

ALEX can help! ALEX Leave of Absence walks your employees through the entire leave process–from gathering the many reams of paperwork, to going back to work, and everything in between. We constantly update ALEX to reflect law changes in all 50 states (plus D.C.), so your employees will always get the most accurate guidance possible.

*Our last count includes Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia–but things are changing all the time!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to also check out:

6 Tips on Creating a More Empathetic Leave of Absence Process
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5 Tips for Helping Millennials (and Post-Millennials) Actually Use Their New Plans!