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November 23, 2021

New York Paid Family Leave Law to Include Siblings Starting January 2022

In New York, “siblings” are now officially part of the family.
Home » News » New York Paid Family Leave Law to Include Siblings Starting January 2022

John Stewart
Tue, 11/23/2021

In New York, “siblings” are now officially part of the family.

In 2016, New York enacted the New York Paid Family Leave Law (“NYPFLL”), establishing what it called “the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy,” going well beyond the protections of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). As of 2021, the NYPFLL requires covered employers to allow 12 weeks of paid family leave (available before employees have exhausted sick or vacation leave banks) for bonding with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is called to active military service abroad. The NYPFLL also ensures that covered employees’ jobs and health insurance will be waiting for them when they return from leave and prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliation against employees for taking or requesting paid family leave. kept for them by their employers when they return from leave.

And starting January 30, 2022, the definition of “family members” will be expanded to include “siblings,” for purposes of taking paid family leave as set forth in an amendment to the NYPFLL signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul on November 1, 2021. Before the amendment, the NYPFLL only protected employees’ rights to take family leave to care for new children, spouses, domestic partners, children (including stepchildren or anyone for whom the employee has legal custody), parents/stepparents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren. When the new amendment takes effect on January 30, 2022, however, employees will also be able to take family leave to care for siblings with serious health conditions.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss whether your employer has violated the NYPFLL, the FMLA, or other laws governing the use of family and medical leave, please contact us by phone at 202-833-8855 or by email at

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