Federal law has for years required employers to offer leave, but not paid leave. Unpaid leave offers job security: Parents who take off to care for newborns cannot lose their jobs for doing so and are guaranteed the right to return to their jobs at the end of leave. But 12 weeks without a paycheck is difficult or impossible for many families. Additionally, the federal Family & Medical Leave Act also only applies only to workplaces with 50 employees or more, while New York’s covers smaller businesses as well.
New York’s new state budget also includes a gradually phased-in $15 per hour minimum wage. New York City will reach the $15 requirement by the end of 2018, with the suburbs and upstate trailing.