Sheila McGarrigle
/ Categories: Eligibility, Q&A

Top 3 Must See: NY Paid Family Leave – Opting-Out

May 29, 2018

PFL opt-out

As PFL continues to roll out, many people have questions about their ability to opt-out of this program. Here are the answers to 3 of the most common questions we’ve seen about opting-out of Paid Family Leave.

1. Can an employee opt-out of paying for Paid Family Leave?

In most cases, no. PFL is a mandatory benefit for employees who do not fall into an excluded class. So if you are an eligible employee, working for a Covered Employer, then you have to have Paid Family Leave.

There are a few instances where an employee can opt-out:

  • They work 20+ hours per week, but not 26 consecutive weeks, or
  • they work fewer than 20 hours per week, but not 175 days in a consecutive 52-week period.

If the employee satisfies one of the first two criteria above, they can fill out a PFL Waiver Form to opt-out. However, please note - if the employee submits the form, but their work schedule changes (they work 26 consecutive weeks or more, or work 175 days in a 52-week period), their waiver becomes invalid within 8 weeks of the change and they must participate in PFL.

If the employee is receiving Old Age Social Security benefits,  they can opt-out of PFL by sending a written note to the Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board. But if they opt-out of PFL, they must opt-out of DBL at the same time.

2. If an employee works 2 jobs and works over 20 hours for each job, can they opt-out of contributing to 1 of those jobs?

Generally speaking, no. If the employee works 2 jobs for Covered Employers, more than 20 hours per week per job, and for at least 26 consecutive weeks for those jobs, they are considered eligible and must have PFL from each job.

If they haven’t worked 26 consecutive weeks for one or both jobs, they can fill out the PFL waiver form to opt-out, but that waiver will only stay in effect until they have reached the 26-week benchmark.  Learn more about how PFL works for employees with multiple employers here.

3. If an employee opts-out, does our DBL carrier need to be notified so we won’t be billed?

No.  But your PFL insurance carrier may ask to see this documentation as part of an audit, but it’s not something that needs to be submitted for everyone.  Since your carrier may have specific requirements, please check with them.

Don’t forget, to opt-out of PFL, an employee must meet the specific requirement listed above in answer #1, and they must submit an opt-out waiver to their employer.   The employer must keep the waiver on file for as long as the employee works for them – whether the waiver is still in force or not.

If you have other questions about opting-out, or other Paid Family Leave questions, keep checking back to see if we cover your topic next month, or ask our PFL experts at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com.


This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any PFL information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation,  and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding Paid Family Leave regulations. Have more questions? Email us at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com
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