NY Paid Family Leave extended for sibling care: ‘Taking care of your family is a human right’

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers a COVID-19 briefing on Oct. 13, 2021. (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor)

NEW YORK — New Yorkers can now take a paid leave of absence from work to take care of a sick sibling under the state’s Paid Family Leave law.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday signed legislation passed by the state Legislature earlier this year that more broadly defines who is covered under the law.

“People think of Paid Family Leave as babies … it’s also very much utilized by people taking care of the elderly, and they’ll be able to take care of their elderly siblings,” Hochul said. “We’re going to continue fighting for all New Yorkers, and I believe that by signing this today it’s going to give an opportunity for people to get that extra help they need, that support they need when their family can be there to step in and not lose their own income.”

Previously, a family member was defined as a spouse, child, parent, domestic partner, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild — but not a sibling, even if they were terminally ill, with few exceptions.

Speaking to her personal experience as a young mom forced to leave her job to take care of her first child three decades ago, Hochul said the decision made her realize “how much of a human right” it was to be able to care for your family.

“This is personal,” she said of Paid Family Leave. “Taking care of your family is a human right.”

The Paid Family Leave extension applies to biological, adopted, half-siblings, or step-siblings.

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