Paid Family Leave

Governor Hochul Announces Record Number of New Yorkers Used Nation-Leading Paid Family Leave Program in 2022

Governor Hochul Announces Record Number of New Yorkers Used Nation-Leading Paid Family Leave Program in 2022

New Data Shows More Than 700,000 New Yorkers Have Utilized Paid Family Leave Program Since 2018 – Including More Than 160,000 in 2022

Follows Governor Hochul’s Expansion of New York’s Paid Family Leave Law in 2021 to Help More Families Bond With Their Children and Loved Ones

Department of Financial Services’ Interactive Database Available

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that a record number of workers used New York's landmark paid family leave program to bond with their children or care for a seriously ill family member in 2022. The data, available on the Department of Financial Services’ interactive database, shows that the overall utilization rate, number of men taking paid paternity leave every year, and the average length of time off have all increased every year during the first five years of the program.

“When I signed New York’s paid family leave expansion into law, I reaffirmed our state’s commitment to ensuring that workers have the protections they need to bond with their parents, children, and other loved ones,” Governor Hochul said. “Now, workers are responding – with rising enrollment and record-high utilization, particularly among fathers. Our nation-leading paid family leave program is a testament to our efforts to make New York the most worker-friendly state in the nation, and I will continue working closely with the Legislature to enact the policies and programs that support strong families.” 

Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris said, "Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York has fortified its commitment to comprehensive paid family leave, which is pivotal to safeguarding economic security of all workers. The public database enables transparent monitoring of the program's success, enabling stakeholders in New York and across the country to leverage invaluable insights from a nation-leading family leave program.”

Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board Clarissa M. Rodriguez said, “New York gets it – no one should have to choose between a paycheck and caring for family. The hundreds of thousands of working New Yorkers who have taken Paid Family Leave since 2018 know the value of this critical benefit, as do their children and other family members who have benefitted from their care. It’s so wonderful to see more people using this benefit each year.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “We know that expanded paid family leave helps close the gender pay gap, and allows workers the time they deserve to care for their children and other family members. It is monumental that New Yorkers are taking advantage of this nation-leading program, and I hope this influences even more New Yorkers to use the program. I thank Governor Hochul for her dedication to helping New York families by supporting expanded paid family leave.”

In 2016, only 13 percent of workers nationwide had paid family leave. Since New York has enacted its nation leading law providing paid family leave to over 8 million workers, almost 717,000 family leave claims have been paid in the first five years of the program, with a record high of 163,124 claims in 2022.

Key findings from the data include:

  • The number of claims paid has increased each year of the program, excluding a slight drop in 2020, likely attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York's paid family leave utilization rate (the percent of covered workers who used the benefit in a given year) has steadily grown each year from 1.59 percent in 2018, to 1.73 percent in 2019, 1.74percent in 2020, 1.96 percent in 2021, and 2.06 percent in 2022.
  • The benefit is most often used by parents to take time to care for and bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child, with 83,796 claims in 2018; 101,802 in 2019; 98,835 in 2020, 113,025 in 2021, and 117,851 in 2022.
  • More men are taking paternity leave every year to care for and bond with their children. The percent of paid family leave claims to bond with a child taken by men has increased every year: 30.8 percent (25,768 claims) in 2018; 33.2 percent (33,803 claims) in 2019; 36.4 percent (35,942 claims) in 2020, 38.3 percent (43,254 claims) in 2021, and 39.7 percent (46,764 in 2022).
  • More people are caring for seriously ill family members. 27.7 percent of claims were from New Yorkers taking paid time off to care for a seriously ill family member, and most commonly, to take time to care for a sick parent.
  • The average time-off taken has increased each year from 5.5 weeks in 2018 to 7.9 weeks in 2022.

Further, the report showcases New York State workers in every region of New York have taken advantage of this nation-leading benefit. Claims by region in 2022 include:

  • New York City (49,703)
  • Long Island (23,687)
  • Mid-Hudson (17,144)
  • Western NY (14,539)
  • Finger Lakes (12,242)
  • Capital Region (9,274)
  • Central NY (6,626)
  • Southern Tier (4,774)
  • Mohawk Valley (4,185)
  • North Country (2,953)
  • Unspecified or Out-of-State (17,997)

In effect since 2018, New York's paid family leave program is employee-paid insurance that provides workers with job-protected, paid time off to bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child, care for a family member with a serious health condition (which may include severe cases of COVID-19), or assist loved ones when a member of the family is deployed abroad on active military service. Eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off at 67 percent of their pay (up to a cap) in times of need.  

In 2021, Governor Hochul signed legislation expanding the benefit to allow New Yorkers to take paid time to care for a seriously ill sibling. This new benefit takes effect in 2023.

Paid family leave may also be available in some situations when an employee or their minor, dependent child is under an order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

For complete details on the New York State paid family leave program including how to apply for leave, visit

To access the DFS interactive database on New York State paid family leave utilization, visit here.

New York State Paternity Leave Awareness Campaign

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) is continuing its statewide paternity leave awareness campaign, as recommended by the 2023 Gender Wage Gap Report. The campaign aims to normalize paternity leave by raising awareness about the benefits available to new and expectant fathers and highlighting how paternity leave can positively impact families and the career and salary prospects of women earners.

For more information, watch DOL’s paternity leave awareness campaign video here.

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