2018 Paid Family Leave – What You Need To Know About the New Law

In 2018, New York will implement one of the most complete Paid Family Leave laws in the United States.  The law will be applicable to every employed New Yorker, and the policy will piggy back onto your current business Disability policy.  There are decisions to be made, however, and now is the time to begin the process.
What is Paid Family Leave?

Starting in January 2018, Paid Family Leave (PFL) becomes a mandatory benefit in New York, providing employees with job protection and paid time off for these qualifying events:

  • Providing care for family member with serious health condition
    • Child
    • Parent
    • Spouse
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild
    • Domestic Partner
  • Bonding leave after giving birth, adoption, or welcoming a child into foster care
  • Qualifying military service

Employees are also guaranteed to be able to return to their job and continue their health insurance. If you contribute to the cost of your health insurance, you must continue to pay your portion of the premium cost while on Paid Family Leave

Benefits

 

Year Weeks Available Max % of Employee Average Weekly Wage Cap % of State Average Weekly Wage Max based on current NY AWW of $1305.92
1/1/2018 8 50% 50% $652.96
1/1/2019 10 55% 55% $718.26
1/1/2020 10 60% 60% $783.55
1/1/2021 12 67% 67% $874.97

Examples: In 2018, an employee who makes $1,000 a week would receive a benefit of $500 a week (50% of $1,000). Another employee who makes $2,000 a week would receive a benefit of approximately $652, because this employee is capped at one-half of New York State’s Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW) —currently $1,305.92. Half of that amount is the $652 benefit.

The Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is set every year after a comprehensive analysis by the New York State Department of Labor.

Who is eligible?

  • All covered employees working for covered employers in the State of New York
  • Coverage applies to both full and part time employees
  • Full time employees are eligible after 26 weeks of being hired. Part-time employees are eligible after 175 days of being hired.

How it works:

  • PFL coverage will automatically be endorsed onto your Statutory Short Term Disability Policy (DBL) effective 1/1/18.
  • Benefits can be 100% employee funded via payroll deduction or Employer can choose to pay all or part of it.
  • The weekly contribution rate is 0.126% of the employee’s weekly wage capped at the statewide wage of $1305.92 which translates to a maximum contribution of $1.65 per week or just under $86 per year per person.

Important Resources For PFL:

A Family Owned Business, A Family Atmosphere

by P. Andersen

The Business Council of Westchester 2017 Hall of Fame

On April 25th, Levitt-Fuirst Associates was honored to receive the Hall of Fame Family Owned Business Award, presented by the Business Council of Westchester.  The evening included 5 other award recipients (Montefiore, Valerie Wilson Travel, Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Leason Ellis Law Firm, and DeCicco & Sons Grocer) along with 680 attendees, and was held at the beautiful venue of Glen Island Harbor Club in New Rochelle.  We were honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and 40 or so Levitt-Fuirst employees, along with many of our clients and business partners, attended the event.

Watch the short video the Business Council created to tell the story of Levitt-Fuirst.

The Levitt-Fuirst Family

The Family Business Award is fitting for Levitt-Fuirst, as we were founded by David Levitt and Alan Fuirst in 1969, and continues to flourish today with Ken Fuirst, Jason Schiciano (Son-in-law to David Levitt), Valerie Levitt, and Ondrea Levitt all continuing the two-family tradition.  It is also fitting because the business is not simply run by two families, it is run like a family.  The employees at Levitt-Fuirst are treated as a part of the LF family, with trips to Long Beach Island every year, regular after work meet-ups to celebrate “Non-Work Related” events (Cinco de Mayo 2017, here we come!), monthly birthday events, holiday parties, and many other events for employees and our families.  We work together, spend time outside of work together, and volunteer together – as a family.

Like any family, there are ups and downs – but like any family, we stick together.  Levitt-Fuirst has had amazingly low turnover of its staff, something that is unusual in the very aggressive insurance brokerage industry.  In our region, we compete with the largest regional and national brokerage firms – they are known to churn employees at a startling rate.  In the middle of this storm, Levitt-Fuirst keeps its people by treating them like human beings, and by understanding that to be a true leader in our industry, you must hire and keep good people.

Consistency

I have been at Levitt-Fuirst for 6+ years, and most of the faces I started with are still here.  There are many more faces, mind you – we have added 20 employees since that time – but the core people I met when I began work here continue to plug along with me day after day.  During Jason’s BCW acceptance speech, he mentioned 3 people in particular, evidencing what Levitt-Fuirst stands for.  Louise Rush just finished her 25th year at Levitt-Fuirst (you would never guess by looking at her).  Louise has worked in just about every department in the office – our office’s swiss army knife, doing what needs to be done wherever her talents are needed.  Jose Arevalo began as a mail clerk, and is now a million-dollar producer.  Jose always joked he is Ken’s younger brother, because Alan Fuirst always treated him like a son.  Kimberly Vargas was a receptionist, and is now the exceptional manager of our Personal Lines department, a highly profitable and essential piece of our business.  3 stories, unique to the industry but not unique to Levitt-Fuirst.

The Family Owned Business Award was fitting, on many levels.  The Levitt & Fuirst families have built a great business, relying on a great staff.  The staff stays because we are treated well, and our opinions matter.  Because we have good people, and consistent staffing, our clients are better served.  Because our clients are happy (Levitt-Fuirst retains clients on an exceptional level), we continue to grow.  With growth, we hire more top notch employees.  With our continued growth, we moved to a new office in Tarrytown, NY in 2016, and opened a Bonding office in New Jersey in 2017.  We are happy with what we have been able to attain as a team, but are not satisfied – we look forward to the next challenge to continue to grow – as a family.

We want to thank the BCW for recognizing the Levitt-Fuirst Family, the entire Levitt-Fuirst family, for this award.  We truly appreciate the honor.

Impact Building & Realty News

 

Levitt-Fuirst Associates Named a “Best Place to Work in Insurance”

Levitt-Fuirst Associates Named a Best Place to Work in Insurance by Business Insurance Magazine 

BI_2015_places_final

We are proud to announce that the national trade periodical Business Insurance has named Levitt-Fuirst as a winner of their Best Place to Work in Insurance competition!

This summer our 50 employees completed an anonymous survey on their opinions about working at Levitt-Fuirst.   This included questions about: their compensation and benefits, how they are treated and respected, opportunities and recognition for individual achievement, what they thought of their co-workers and managers, and some general open ended questions.

 2015 LF Beach Day
2015 Family Beach Day

Levitt-Fuirst Principals also had to complete an in-depth survey that took about 3 hours to complete.   This involved information on: salary distribution, benefits offered, availability of flexible work schedules, number of minority employees, female and minority managers, how do we recognize individual and group achievement, and employee longevity.    We also had to submit pictures of activities we do as a company, such as our Habitat for Humanity project, our offsite team building exercises, and our summer fun day at the beach (including employees’ family members)!

We know that our employees are our strongest asset.   We do our best to help them to thrive, both as individuals and as members of a team.  We strive to offer our staff the independence needed to achieve personal success.   To retain the best in the industry, we provide innovative incentives, such as subsidized gym memberships and healthy lunches, monthly recognition awards, and fun celebrations (when deserved!).

 

 Habitat
Habitat for Humanity

We are very proud of this Best Place to Work in Insurance award, especially since it reflects that our employees enjoy being part of the Levitt-Fuirst family.