NYC Parental Leave Rights | Bantle & Levy



What Parental Leave Do New York City Employees Get?

Expecting a child is one of the most important and happiest times in a person’s life. Unfortunately, work-related stress can take away from what should be a joyous occasion for your family. When you have a new baby at home, being there to bond with and care for them is critical. While you may want to be there for the first weeks of your child’s life, not everyone is afforded the time off from work to do so.

Many employees in New York City don’t have to worry about how they’ll get the time off to be there for their children. New York State has one of the strongest policies for parental leave in the country. If you’re an NYC employee and expecting a child, learn more about New York State’s Paid Family Leave Policy.

Paternity and Maternity Leave in NYC

While NYC does not have a paid family leave policy of its own, the state’s is very comprehensive. The state of New York allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks within the first 12 months to bond with their new baby. This applies to both parents of a child, so in two-parent households, both parents are entitled to take 12 weeks of leave if they’re both eligible.

During these 12 weeks, you can earn 67% of your average weekly pay, up to a cap. For 2023,  the cap is $1,131.08 per week. Employers can allow employees to use their vacation or sick time to receive their full pay to bond with their baby, but they can’t force this.

When you return to work, your employer must return you to your original job or a comparable one. Your employer also must continue your health insurance coverage during this time.

New York Parental Leave Eligibility

Most private employees in New York are eligible to take time off under the Paid Family Leave Policy. Employees in certain jobs aren’t eligible to receive paid family leave, so if you aren’t sure if you’re covered or not, you should discuss this with your employer. Some employers may voluntarily provide their employees with leave to bond with their children even if the state doesn’t require them to do so.

Both full-time and part-time employees can be eligible to receive paid family leave. The minimum time-worked requirements to receive paid family leave are:

  • Full-Time Employees – Employees working a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.
  • Part-Time Employees – Employees working a regular schedule of fewer than 20 hours per week are eligible after working 175 days. If you work an irregular schedule, you need to determine the average number of hours you work per week.

Do You Get Parental Leave for an Adopted or Fostered Child?

There are many different types of families, and not all parents are the biological parents of their children. Welcoming an adopted or fostered child into your family is an equally important moment and having the time to be home and bond as a family is vital. New York’s Paid Family Leave does not only apply to biological parents taking time following the birth of their baby. If you’re fostering or adopting a child, eligible employees can also take up to 12 weeks of leave from their jobs within the first 12 months.

Parents can also take paid leave from work to care for their seriously ill child. This includes various types of parent-child relationships, including biological children, adopted children, foster children, step-children, and legal wards.

Can You Take Parental Leave Before the Birth of a Baby?

Many expectant parents might want to take time off from work before their baby arrives to prepare or relax. However, New York’s Paid Family Leave policy doesn’t allow parents to begin their leave before the birth of their child.

If you have a prenatal condition that requires you to take leave from work before the birth of your baby, you may be eligible for unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Bantle & Levy Helps Protect Your Rights as a Working Parent

Parents can face many challenges in today’s workplace. Between taking the necessary time off from work to care for your child or facing parental status discrimination, you may suffer unfair treatment or have your rights violated. At Bantle & Levy, we fight to protect employees’ rights and defend them against employment discrimination.

If you need an employment lawyer to stand up for you, contact Bantle & Levy. We have the skills and experience needed to help NYC employees receive the fair treatment they deserve.

Bantle & Levy
Bantle & Levy

Lee Bantle is a partner at Bantle & Levy LLP. He has extensive legal expertise, admitted to the bars of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. With a distinguished academic background and clerkship experience, he has been recognized as a top-rated civil rights attorney and esteemed lawyer. In addition to his successful career, he has actively contributed to various legal organizations and serves as a faculty member for NYU's Annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges.


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