New York's first woman Governor, Kathy Hochul, has just signed legislation that allows New York residents to take paid time off to care for a sick sibling.  On November 1, 2021, she signed bill S.2928-A/A.06098-A, which expands on the state's Paid Family Leave law.

Gov. Hochul spoke about how important it is that New Yorkers aren't forced to choose between caring for a sick sibling or being able to pay their bills,

"Taking care of your family is a basic human right, no one should have to choose between caring for a loved one and a paycheck. Fighting to expand paid family leave is personal to me and so many others, and I am proud to work with advocates and legislators to make sure that New Yorkers can now take care of their siblings without fear of losing their jobs or income."

New York's Paid Family Leave program was already pretty comprehensive, even before the newly signed legislation. Since 2018, it has allowed employees to take time off, without losing compensation or their job, to:

- Bond with a child - newborn, adopted, or foster child
- Take care of a sick family member
- Assist when a family member in the military is deployed to another country

An eligible employee can take up to 3 months off from work and still receive 67 percent of their compensation. Aside from the new addition of siblings, the Paid Family Leave law allows the time off to be taken to care for domestic partners, children, spouses, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren.

The new legislation will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Roberta Reardon, the woman at the helm of the New York State Department of Labor said the state is leading the way in taking care of employees,

"New York's Paid Family Leave has been a model across our nation when it comes to helping working families, and I commend Governor Hochul for her leadership in expanding the definition of family to include siblings. This last year and half has been especially hard on working caregivers, and a loss of income can be devastating for New Yorkers who must care for a sick family member. This is a critical step toward easing that hardship."

You can find out more information about New York's Paid Family Leave, by visiting PaidFamilyLeave.ny.gov.

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