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Sheila McGarrigle
/ Categories: Eligibility, Q&A

Top 3 Must See: Out-of-State Employees and PFL

July 24, 2018

PFL questions dad baby

It seems obvious that New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides benefits for New York employees. But what exactly does that mean? Employees who work in NY or live in NY? And does it matter where the employer is located? We’ve received a lot of questions about out-of-state employees and PFL, so here, we’ll answer your top 3 questions.

1. Our company is located in New York State, but we have employees that work in other states. Are employees covered, can they take Paid Family Leave, and should they contribute through payroll deductions?

No. NY PFL is specifically for people who work in the State of New York. So even if your company is based in New York State, any employees who work outside New York are not covered and therefore cannot take leave and should not contribute through payroll deductions.  In short, it’s based on where they work not where they live.

If an out-of-state employee works in a state with a similar program (like New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, Washington, DC, etc.), you will need to make sure they are enrolled in that state/jurisdiction’s program.


PFL Expert Tip:

While you can opt-in to provide out-of-state coverage for NY statutory Disability (DBL), this is not an option for PFL. See this handy comparison chart for details.


2. We’re a New Jersey-based employer and have an employee who lives and works from home in New York State. Does she have to be covered under NY Paid Family Leave, or, since NJ has a PFL program too, can she opt for one benefit over the other?

Since your employee performs the entirety of her work in New York State, she is considered a NY employee and must be covered by New York Paid Family Leave – AND New York statutory disability insurance (DBL) as well. Because she works solely in NY, she does not have the option to choose between the two benefits. You can learn more about the differences between NY Paid Family Leave and NJ Paid Family Leave here.

3. One of our employees works primarily in Pennsylvania, but comes to New York State for meetings and such. Would this employee be eligible for New York Paid Family Leave?

Most likely not. But let’s take a closer look at the criteria.

First, as an employer (whether you’re located inside or outside of NY), you need a DBL/PFL policy for your NY employees if you employ one or more individuals for at least 30 days each in a calendar year in New York State.

However, whether your PA employee is truly considered a NY employee for the purposes of PFL insurance, is based on where the individual spends most of his time working. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at the following criteria:

  • Verify in which state an employee performs most (i.e., more than 50%) of their work.
  • Verify in which state the work performed meets the definitions of incidental (infrequent, not a significant portion of the employee’s workday or work schedule) and temporary (short-term, not permanent by nature).

Since it sounds like your employee clearly works less than 50% of his time in NY and his work in NY is “incidental”, he is not considered a NY employee for the purposes of PFL.

Still have questions about out-of-state employees or other New York Paid Family Leave topics? Check out our other Top 3 Must See topics, and keep an eye out for future topics. Or you can reach out to one of 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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