The United States lags far behind many other of the world’s top countries when it comes to paid family leave initiatives.

Now, you won’t be able to pin any of the blame on New York. Starting January 1, 2018, the Empire State will start offering one of the nation’s most progressive family leave programs.

And, it will grow better and better over a four-year period, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's web site:

In 2018, employees may take up to eight weeks of paid leave at 50 percent of their average weekly wage up to 50 percent of the New York State Average Weekly Wage. That increases to 12 weeks of paid leave in 2021 paid at 67 percent of an employee's average weekly wage up to 67 percent of the New York State Average Weekly Wage."

So, who's eligible? Here are the profiles:

  • Parents during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child;
  • Caretakers for a sick spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandchild;
  • Employees with a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent who has been notified of an order of active military service abroad.

Governor Cuomo promises the plan will ensure no individual will ever have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a loved one, and there will be no more fear of losing a job in the process of staying at home to provide emotional support to one's family.

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