How to Apply for Parental Leave (FMLA) In New York Easily

Parental Leave Requests & Benefits How to Apply for Parental Leave (FMLA) In New York Easily

How to Apply for FMLA in New York

The birth of a child is a time for celebration. However, getting time off to care for your child is a challenge. Applying for FMLA in New York is not easy, and you need to know and understand your rights.

DoNotPay can help you better understand your rights and negotiate with your employer in most states, including:

Who is Eligible for Parental Leave in New York?

New York has a state-level Family and Medical Leave Act. Both parents are eligible. However, you must have worked 26 or more consecutive weeks for a covered private employer. The maximum amount of leave is twelve weeks. Most companies are covered by the act.

Paid Parental Leave in New York

New York has a comprehensive paid leave system. For leave taken under the state act, you are entitled to 60% of your average weekly wage, maxing out at 67% of the state average weekly rate. This is funded by a form of mandatory insurance. Leave must be taken within 12 months of birth or adoption.

The law requires that you can return to your job after your leave. You do not have to take all of your leave at once, however, it must be taken in full-day increments. You also need to give your employer 30 days' notice if possible.

How to Apply for New York Paid Family/Parental Leave

Applying for parental leave is fairly straightforward. However, the exact details depend on your employer.

You should follow this procedure:

  1. Request the forms PFL-1 and PFL-2 from your employer or download them here.
  2. Gather supporting documentation as listed below.
  3. Complete your section of PFL-1 and give a copy to your employer. They must return the completed form within three days. If they fail to do so, you should still send your copy.
  4. Complete form PFL-2.
  5. Submit both forms and your supporting documentation to your employer's insurance carrier directly. You can get this by checking the Paid Family Leave poster in your workplace, asking your employer, searching the workers' comp website, or calling the Paid Family Leave helpline at 844-337-6303, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If your employer appears to be uninsured, you can submit the request to:

NYS Workers' Compensation Board

Paid Family Leave

PO Box 9030,

Endicott, NY 13761-9030

The required supporting documentation essentially proves that this is your child. Suitable documents include:

For Birth Parents
  • The child's birth certificate.
  • Documentation of pregnancy or birth from a health care provider including your name in the due or birth dates. This is suitable if applying for leave before the birth of the child.
For Non-Birth Parents
  • The child's birth certificate.
  • Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
  • Court order of filiation.
  • Documentation of pregnancy or birth from a health care provider with a document verifying the parent relationship with the birth parent or child.
For Non-Biological ParentsIncludes those in same-sex relationships.

  • A birth certificate acknowledging you as a legal parent.
  • Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
  • Court order of filiation.
  • Court order of parentage, typically used in gestational surrogacy.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Evidence of civil union or domestic partnership.
For Adoption
  • Court documents finalizing the adoption.
  • Documentation in furtherance of adoption.
  • Quote order finalizing the adoption.

If you are not on the adoption papers, you will also need to provide verification of your relationship with the named parent.

What Is the FMLA?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job protection. However, it covers only employees who have been in that job for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours. It also only covers employers with at least 50 employees as well as public agencies and elementary and secondary schools.

An opinion from the Department of Labor indicates that FMLA leave and New York paid leave run concurrently. In other words, you can't take 12 paid weeks under the New York law and then 12 unpaid laws under reached under the federal law. However, FMLA in NY may apply if you are denied paid leave or if you work for a public employer who has chosen to opt-out of the paid leave program. Also, applying for FMLA leave may give you extra leverage for getting your job back when you return.

How to Apply for FMLA

New York has no specific requirements for applying for FMLA leave, but does provide a help center where you can get assistance. You can call this help center at 518-457-4274 or email them.

As with paid leave, you must apply at least 30 days in advance. Your employer must notify you if you are eligible within five business days of your request. If you are requesting leave because of pregnancy complications, your employer may request medical certification or a doctor's note. You do not, however, have to share any specific medical diagnosis.

How to Request FMLA Leave on Your Own

If you are requesting parental leave you will need to talk to your employer's HR department. FMLA leave does not necessarily exempt you from their protocols for requesting leave.

  1. Gather any documentation to support your request. The same documents you use to request paid time off will work here.
  2. If your employer has procedures for requesting FMLA leave, follow them, including any forms. If your employer does not have these procedures, put together a letter explaining why you are requesting leave, referring to the FMLA, and giving your planned dates.
  3. For pregnancy-related concerns, talk to your doctor about medical certification. If you have already asked for documentation of pregnancy, this should be sufficient.

Make sure you are eligible for leave before requesting it. Bear in mind that you may not meet eligibility requirements until closer to your childbirth or arrival. Be ready to advocate for yourself.

Things can become more complicated if the employer attempts to deny you leave, if your employer does not have paid family leave insurance, or if your employer's insurance company denies your claim. At this point, it can become very expensive.

Next Steps for Requesting Parental Leave in New York if You Can't Do it Yourself

You are entitled to paid parental leave. However, obtaining it involves dealing with insurance, which is never easy. Additionally, your employer may give you difficulties, either intentionally or because they are not well organized. In all of these cases, you will need legal help.

Lawyers are expensive, and this is not a time when you have a lot of spare money. On top of that, the process can be very time-consuming, and can easily run into the time you intended to take your leave. It can also mess up your relationship with your employer.

Your employer may also refuse to give you your job back or to put you in an equivalent position when you return. Thankfully, there is a cheaper option.

Request Parental Leave in New York With the Help of DoNotPay

That option is DoNotPay. Our robot lawyer makes requesting parental leave fast and easy and increases your chance of success. Getting it right the first time means that you don't end up having to get a lawyer. We make the process so much easier and more straightforward.

How to request parental leave using DoNotPay:

If you want to request parental leave but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps:

  1. Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program). 
  2. Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you. 
  3. If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable). 
  4. Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional legal protections). 
  5. Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to. 
  6. Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf. 

Why Use DoNotPay to Request Parental Leave in New York

The application for paid parental leave in New York is tedious and has to be got right the first time. Using DoNotPay makes it faster and easier and reduces the chance of errors. This helps you avoid getting into an argument with your employer and expensive legal fees.

We just make the entire process so much less annoying.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Lots of things. DoNotPay helps with all kinds of tedious and complicated problems. This includes:

Let us help you with all of the little annoyances of life, and with every time-consuming problem you might have.

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