ALBANY (WENY) – Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill Monday, expanding New York State’s Paid Family Leave law to include caring for siblings who are seriously ill.
Under current law, New Yorkers cannot take leave to care for a sibling with a serious health condition because Paid Family Leave only covers caring for spouses, domestic partners, children and step-children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren; however, the latest legislation expands the legal definition of “family members” to include siblings.
“Taking care of your family is a basic human right, no one should have to choose between caring for a loved one and a paycheck,” Governor Hochul said. “Fighting to expand paid family leave is personal to me and so many others, and I am proud to work with advocates and legislators to make sure that New Yorkers can now take care of their siblings without fear of losing their jobs or income.”
Biological siblings, adopted siblings, step-siblings and half-siblings are all eligible. New Yorkers can take leave to care for their seriously ill siblings even if the sick individual is outside of the state or country.
New York’s Paid Family Leave was first enacted in 2016. It is an employee-paid insurance that provides workers with job-protect paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member who is seriously ill, or help loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. Eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off at 67% of their pay, up to a cap.