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BAS Joins OneGroup
  • By Emily Davenport
  • /
  • Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
  • /
  • 09:49 PM UTC

SUBMITTED BY SHER SPARANO

Benefits Advisory Service, the Forest Hills firm which has been providing expertise in Health Insurance and Employee Benefits to local employers for the past 25 years, recently merged with ONEGROUP, an insurance and risk management firm, headquartered in Syracuse, NY.

Sher Sparano, president and founder of Benefits Advisory Service, explained that she had made the move in order to offer her clients a greater range of benefits and resources that extend to HR consulting, property and casualty insurance, and retirement plans. “We felt that teaming up with OneGroup was the best way for us to take advantage of the latest developments and innovations in this ever changing industry," said Sparano. OneGroup-BAS, as the firm is now referred to, will be providing important update information in the coming months in this column. This month’s topic is New York Paid Family Leave.

Gearing up for New York Paid Family Leave

On April 4, 2016, Governor Cuomo passed the NYS Paid Family Leave (PFL) Law which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Unlike the Family Medical Leave Act, PFL applies to all private sector employers with one or more employees and is subject to the NY Disability Benefits Law (DBL). Public employers may opt into the program. PFL will provide employees with job-protected paid leave to bond with a new child or care for a close family member. For 2018, PFL will pay 50% of an employee’s weekly wages to a maximum of $652.96 per week up to 8 weeks. The benefits for PFL will increase each year until 2021.

PFL is intended to be entirely employee-funded through a payroll deduction that was just set on June 3 by the NYS Department of Finance. The rate was set at .126% of payroll with a maximum of $1.65 per employee per week. Employers will be allowed to start deducting from an employee's paycheck starting July 1, 2017 to begin pre-funding the PFL benefit. What employers should be doing now in preparation for the new law is start speaking with their current DBL carrier to learn if they will be participating in the PFL program or if the employer will need to find a new carrier for both DBL and PFL. Employers must use the same vendor for DBL and PFL. Employers should also speak with their payroll vendor to set up a new payroll deduction and review their existing leave practices and policies. A PFL policy will need to be created encompassing guidance on how PFL benefits will be administered and an employee’s rights and instructions to file a claim.

For more information, contact Sher Sparano at 718-897-3903 x 23, 877-877-5155, or SSparano@OneGroup.com.

Visit www.onegroup.com to learn more about Health Insurance and Employee Benefits.