CPA Tom Walpole discussed the New York State Family Medical Leave Act and its impact on employees starting July 1 Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Employee payroll deduction will begin July 1. The current rate for 2017 is 0.126 percent, with a weekly maximum of $1.65. For someone making $500 a week, the deduction will be 63 cents. The rate will be reset annually.

To benefit, employees must have worked 20 or more hours per week for 26 weeks to be eligible, or if less than 20 hours per week 175 work days.

Beginning January 1, 2018, an employee can take up to 8 weeks of leave and received 50 percent of their average weekly wage (with a maximum of 50 percent of the NYS average weekly wage – in 2016 it was $1,305.92).

On January 1, 2019 the terms will bump to 10 weeks and 55 percent of their average weekly wage.

On January 1, 2020 the terms will bump to 10 weeks and 60 percent of their average weekly wage.

On January 1, 2021 the terms will bump to 12 weeks and 67 percent of their average weekly wage.

Leave must be taken for physical or psychological care of a family member or to bond with a child during the first 12 months (natural or adopted), or a military exigency.

Upon return to work, the employee is entitled to the same or comparable position. The employer must continue health insurance as if the employee had not taken leave. The employee cannot receive paid family leave and disability at the same time. The maximum Paid Family Leave and Disability Leave is 26 weeks in a 52 week period. The employer may allow vacation or PTO to be used to collect full pay.

The replacement income is paid through an insurance policy which is a rider on the employer’s disability policy.

Serious health conditions include three or more days of post surgical care, inpatient care at a facility, and continuous treatment or supervision by a health care provider, as defined as:

Three or more continuous days unable to work, attend school, or perform daily activities and treatment two or more times by a health care provider with one treatment resulting in a regimen of treatment under supervision, or any period of inability to work/attend school due to a chronic condition (asthma, diabetes) that may incapacitate a family member.