How much more can the small business owner afford?

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the potential for an increase in minimum wage and potentially looking to pay more of our employees’ overtime.  In an effort to do something good for those individuals employed in New York State, our state lawmakers have updated the NYS FMLA law making it the most progressive paid family leave law in our country.  The provision becomes fully effective in 2021 but will start with an initial change in 2018.

Currently, an employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.  As of January 1, 2018, the employee will be eligible for 8 weeks of paid FMLA and by 2021, it will increase to the full 12 weeks of paid FMLA time off. 

How will this affect small businesses and their employees? 

The employer is affected because the initial start-up money will be skimmed off the state’s Workers’ Compensation Fund which is paid into by employers.  That means that you could end of paying more for your Workers’ Comp coverage. 

Once the fund is established it will continue to be funded by a payroll deduction on the employee.  They are claiming that this will only be 0.5% (roughly $.70) per week in 2018 ending up at $1.40 per week by 2021.  This amount will be determined by the state who is empowered to decide on a percentage deduction.  Experts are already estimating that this could actually cost employees up to 5 times that much by 2021.

Small Businesses should start planning now for these definite and potential changes.  If you should have any questions or need further information, please contact hour HR team at 315-258-8780.