What Business Owners Need to Know About PFL and Summertime Help

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As of January 1, 2018, Paid Family Leave (PFL) is officially a thing in New York. Now, eligible New York workers can take partially paid time off to bond with a new kid, care for a seriously ill family member, or take care of things related to a family member’s active military service. That’s pretty sweet, right?


Summer means part-time help for a lot of businesses in Brooklyn, and since some part-time employees may qualify for PFL, we want to make sure that you’ve got all the info on PFL to ensure you stay compliant. Because PFL is a law now. And we don’t want you to break the law — even if it is unintentionally.

Here’s everything business owners (and their staff) need to know about PFL and summertime help.  

First thing’s first: Do I have to provide PFL?

If you’re a “covered employer,” then yes, you absolutely have to provide PFL. A “covered employer” is defined as any private-sector organization with 1 or more employee other than the owner or private employers. Not sure if your business counts as a “covered employer?” Take this quiz and find out.

But to put it in a nutshell, if you have to provide DBL, then you have to provide PFL. Paid Family Leave is part of the DBL law. So it makes sense that if you have one, you have to have both.

There are two classes of eligible employees

PFL recognizes two types of eligible employees: part-time and full-time. This should be pretty obvious, but the way they are separated might not be. Full-time employees are those who work 20 or more hours per week. Part-time employees are those who work less than 20 hours a week.

Not your typical 40-hour delineator, which is why we thought it important to call out. If they meet specific criteria, both part-time and full-time employees could be eligible for Paid Family Leave.

Temporary employees could be eligible

According to PFL experts ShelterPoint, for a part-time employee, they need to work a minimum of 175 days in a 52-week period from their time of hire. So, if you hire someone to help you with the summer rush and they work a total of 90 days, they don’t qualify. If that person did a spectacular job and you hire them for part-time work later that year, and they work another 85 days before their anniversary date, then they do.

But remember, the part-time definition says that they work less than 20 hours per week. If your summertime employee average 20 hours or more per week, then they’re considered full-time employees. Full-time employees have to work 26 consecutive weeks for the same employer to be considered eligible for PFL.

So if your summertime help works 19 hours each week, then they have to work for you for 175 days before they become eligible. If they work 20 hours each week, they have to work for you for 26 consecutive weeks to become eligible. Make sense? Good. Let’s continue.

There is no minimum number of hours for part-time employees

That means that they could work 19 hours each week, or they could work 15 minutes a day. It depends on the number of days they work, not the number of hours they work in those days. As long as you’re paying them, then it counts.

Still confused? Paid Family Leave is amazing and it’s going to help a lot of New Yorkers as it continues to expand over the next 4 years, but there are a lot of moving and changing parts. Check out this article from ShelterPoint to learn more about PFL and part-time, seasonal, and contract employees so you don’t miss a thing. At Dime, we’ve always got your back.   


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