Paid Family Leave Regulations ~ Comments needed by April 10


A Better BalanceWe need your help! Comments are due on the proposed New York paid family leave regulations on April 10
 abetterbalance.org
We need your help! Comments are due on the proposed New York paid family leave regulations on April 10
To make this easy, you’ll find a simple template comment below that you can cut and paste (just fill in your information where it is highlighted in yellow). Please submit these comments by e-mail to regulations@wcb.ny.gov.When you submit, please cc us and/or send us a copy of your comments (mwilliamson@abetterbalance.org).

If you have any questions about the law, regulations, or comment process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at mwilliamson@abetterbalance.org or 212-430-5982.
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Heather M. MacMaster
Deputy General Counsel
Workers’ Compensation Board
328 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
Submitted via email to regulations@wcb.ny.gov
Re: Comments on Proposed Paid Family Leave Regulations
Dear Ms. MacMaster:
We are writing to submit comments on the proposed paid family leave regulations. We thank you for the opportunity to comment on these proposed regulations. We were proud to support New York as it enacted its groundbreaking paid family leave law, including best-in-the-nation provisions like twelve weeks of paid leave with full job protection for all covered workers. These regulations fulfill that bold promise to New York’s working families.
Personal Background and Interest Statement: Example: My organization works with low-income women in Syracuse. We have seen how important it is for parents to have paid time off to bond with a new child without risking their jobs.
We are proud to support the inclusion of the following provisions:
  •  Allowing workers to take leave prior to formal placement for adoption ((12 NYCRR § 380-2.2(a)).
  • Authorizing bonding leave for children born or placed prior to January 1, 2018 (12 NYCRR § 380-2.7).
  • An accessible process for filing claims (Subpart 380-5)
  • A workable system for workers to receive benefits payments (12 NYCRR §§ 380-5.6 through 380-5.11).
  • Ensuring employers provide workers with needed information about their rights (12 NYCRR § 380-7.2).

We suggest the following changes:

  • Changing 12 NYCRR § 380-2.2(c) to state: “An employee who is eligible for both family leave and disability benefits, including due to the birth of a child, may choose whether to receive both benefits but may not receive both benefits at the same time.”
  • Removing any statement suggesting that benefits can be partially or wholly denied for failure to comply with technical notice requirements (12 NYCRR § 380-3.3 and 12 NYCRR § 380-3.5).
  • Removing the first sentence (“In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (29 U.S.C. Sections 2601-2654):”) of 12 NYCRR § 380-7.4.
  • Removing the provision authorizing employers to choose (at their discretion) to begin withholding employee payroll deductions on July 1, 2017 (12 NYCRR § 380-2.4(d)).
  • Removing language that would reduce the amount of paid family leave available to part-time workers who take leave on intermittent basis (12 NYCRR § 380-2.5(b)(1)(i)).

Because job protection is a landmark feature of the New York paid family leave law, we strongly suggest the following changes to Subpart 380-8:

  • Removing the requirement that workers file a formal request for reinstatementwithin 120 days as a condition of filing a complaint (12 NYCRR § 380-8.1)
  • Clarifying how workers can enforce their rights under N.Y. Workers’ Compensation Law § 203-a (“Retaliatory action prohibited for family leave”) and N.Y. Workers’ Compensation Law § 203-c (“Health insurance during family leave”).

We also suggest adding:

  • Language to codify protections for immigrant workers in the regulations, as the state has already committed to doing the “FAQs” section of the state website.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]
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