Thank you to everyone who attended Bond’s webinar on New York Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.  We had a tremendous turnout and received hundreds of questions.  While we didn’t have the opportunity during the webinar to address all of the inquiries that we received, we noted afterwards that many employers raised the same questions.  Accordingly, for the month of August, we will be posting a weekly blog article dedicated to answering some of the most frequently asked questions we received during the webinar.  We hope this follow-up will be helpful to employers in preparation for the launch of PFL in 2018.

Today’s PFL Q&As focus on taking leave to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition.

QuestionCan I use PFL to care for my family member with a serious health condition, if the family member lives in a different state?

Answer:  The PFL regulations are not entirely clear on this point.  However, the Workers’ Compensation Board (“WCB”) takes the position that an eligible employee may take PFL to care for a family member who lives in another state.  The key here is that the employee is in “close and continuing proximity to the care recipient,” which the WCB has interpreted to mean in the same general location as the family member receiving the care.  So, for example, if an employee requests PFL to care for a grandparent living in Texas, the employee would need to physically go to Texas to provide care in order to be covered under the PFL.

Question:  What constitutes “providing care” for a family member with a serious health condition?

Answer:  Providing care includes necessary physical care, assistance with essential daily living matters, assistance in treatment, and personal attendant services.  It also includes emotional support, visitation, transportation, and/or arranging for changes in care.

Question:  Can I take PFL to care for an adult child?

Answer:  Yes.  Unlike the FMLA, which contains limits on an individual’s ability to take leave for an adult child, the PFL permits a qualified employee to care for any child with a serious health condition, regardless of the child’s age.

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Please continue to visit our blog for weekly Q&As during August 2017 and other PFL updates, as appropriate.

If you have any questions about PFL, please contact the authors of this post, any of the attorneys in our Labor and Employment Law Practice, or the Bond attorney with whom you regularly work.