New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law an amendment to the New York Paid Family Leave Law (NYPFLL), which will allow employees to take leave to care for siblings with a serious health condition.

In effect since 2018, the NYPFLL provides a phased-in system of paid, job protected leave for eligible employees: (i) to care for a new child following birth, adoption, or placement in the home; (ii) to care for a family member with a serious health condition; or (iii) for qualifying exigencies related to military duty. Beginning January 1, 2021 and going forward, employees are eligible for up to 12 work weeks of leave in a 52-week period at 67% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap set up by the state.

The NYPFLL currently defines “covered family members” to include an employee’s spouse or domestic partner, child (including a biological, adopted or foster child, step-child or child of a domestic partner, legal ward or one to whom the employee stands in loco parentis), parent (including a biological, adoptive or foster parent, step-parent, legal guardian, or one who stood in loco parentis to the employee as a child), parent-in-law, grandparent and grandchild. Effective January 1, 2023, the amendment will expand this definition to include an employee’s biological, adopted, step, and half-sibling(s).

Employers in New York are encouraged to review their current NYPFLL policies and practices in advance of the amendment’s effective date to ensure compliance with these updated requirements.