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Frequently Asked Questions About NY Paid Family Leave

Mar, 23 2022

New York Paid Family Leave

Frequently Asked Questions About NY Paid Family Leave

With the New York Paid Family Leave program, workers can be there for their loved ones at an hour of need without jeopardizing their job security. The policy may also provide benefits to workers in COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation. Here are answers to some common paid family leave questions.

Is an employee eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) when on Paid Family Leave?

No, because the employee is still employed when on PFL or any other paid leave. Such an employee is not available for work, so they can’t collect unemployment benefits.

Are the Paid Family Leave premiums collected through employee pay deduction deemed compensation for UI reporting?

Yes. A worker’s total remuneration is their salary before their NYPFL premium contributions and other deductions.

Should an employer report an employee’s Paid Family Leave benefits as remuneration?

No. Any PFL benefits that an employee receives don’t constitute remuneration for purposes of UI reporting. However, employers should report these benefits as employee income for IRS and state tax purposes.

Suppose an employer replaces a regular employee on Paid Family Leave with a short-term hire. Can the temporary employee collect unemployment insurance benefits once the one they had replaced returns to work?

Yes. Once the temporary employee’s status changes to “unemployed,” they could file for UI benefits subject to eligibility requirements.

Who bears the costs of UI benefits that a former temporary worker receives after the employee they had replaced returns to work?

The last employer to hire the employee on temporary terms is responsible for the cost of any unemployment insurance benefits paid to them for the first seven weeks. If the former temporary worker files another UI claim in the future, their last employer may also be charged.

Can an employee collect UI benefits if they don’t return to work after utilizing the PFL program?

Such an employee can collect UI benefits if they satisfy the state’s eligibility requirements. In addition, the claimant must be available and willing to work when a role for which they’re qualified comes up. However, if the employee turned down the right to return to work on a specific date without a legitimate reason, their claim may be rejected.

Does their immediate former employer bear this cost if an employee who doesn’t return to work after their Paid Family Leave receives UI Benefits?

Provided that the former employee is eligible for UI benefits, their last employer’s account would be charged over the first 7 weeks of payouts. The employer may also bear the cost of any subsequent UI claim that their former worker files.

Would the Paid Family Leave program increase an employer’s experience rate within the next 12 months?

An employee can use the NY Paid Family Leave program without necessarily impacting their employer’s experience rating in the next year. However, the experience rate increases or decreases for any employer based on multiple factors, including the amount of benefits paid to former employees and the prompt payment of contributions.

Should employers remit contributions for their temporary workers?

Yes. New York State law requires all employers to report and remit contributions for their temporary and permanent employees. To learn more about quarterly filing and payments, refer to the NYS50 Employer’s Guide to Unemployment Insurance, Wage Reporting, and Withholding Tax.

If you’re an employer, you have a significant role to play in ensuring the success of the NYPFL program. Contact us at Tompkins Insurance Agencies for help obtaining Paid Family Leave insurance for your employees. Our experts are happy to help you with your NYPFL coverage needs!

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