Requesting family leave can be fraught with anxiety even for those employees who work for an employer covered by the FMLA or other company policies. This is never more true than when a female worker is pregnant and is looking for a way to tell her employer she needs time off because of a difficult pregnancy, for childbirth or for baby bonding. If you need to take time off from work to care for yourself or another sick family member and believe you have been discriminated against for asking for and/or taking family leave, call our hotline at (888) 833-4363. Someone from our legal team will be able to speak with you and discuss your situation.
What is Family Leave?
Family leave refers to time employees can take off from work to care for themselves, care for their family members, or bond with a newborn child.
At GELC we believe that for family leave to be meaningful it must:
(1) be mandated by the government and not left to private companies to decide who gets family leave benefits;
(2) create job protection and guarantee an employee's reinstatement after taking such leave; and
(3) be paid to ensure that an employee can take the time off from work without economic harm.
The National Landscape
Currently, the United States has no national paid family leave law or program - a significant departure from the rest of the industrialized world. Employees who work for employers with 50 or more employees (a little more than half of all employers in the U.S.) are eligible for up to 12 weeks of family leave per year after they have worked 1,250 hours (or approximately one year). However, this leave is unpaid, making it extremely difficult for lower income employees to take any or all of such leave time.
In New York State
In 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law one of the most robust family leave laws in the nation. Effective January 1, 2018, nearly every New Yorker will be entitled to paid family leave under New York State's Paid Family Leave Insurance Act (PFLIA). Find out what you need to know about the law here.