Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has just signed a bill that expands the definition of “family member” under the New York Paid Family Leave Law to include siblings. The expanded definition goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

The New York Paid Family Leave Law provides employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist a family member who is on active military service. Before the latest change, “family member” included employees’ spouses, domestic partners, children and step-children, parents and step-parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren. The new coverage for siblings that will take effect in 2023 includes biological, adopted, step-, and half-siblings.

Under the law, eligible employees receive 67 percent of their pay while on leave, up to a certain cap based on statewide average pay.

Employers with New York employees should amend their paid leave policies by the end of 2022 to include siblings.

Christopher Blair recently joined Constangy after getting his law degree from DePaul University.

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