New York City is known for a lot of things: culture, history, opportunity. However, it is unfortunately also known for its nearly impossible cost of living.

Rents are astronomical, MTA fares seem to be rising every other week, and a decent chunk of people here are living paycheck to paycheck. 

So for most of us, any unpaid time off from work, no matter for what reason, is pretty much a no-go.

But recently, New York State green-lighted a policy that might slowly begin to change all that.

According to Mashable, this policy will offer up to 12 weeks of paid time off following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child, as well as in order to care for a sick family member.

But don’t get too excited. The policy will only begin to be implemented in 2018, when employees who have been at their jobs for at least 6 months will be eligible to receive up to 50% of their wages during a leave of up to 8 weeks. Beginning in 2019 and 2020, the leave period extends to 10 weeks.

The policy won’t go into full effect until 2021, where workers can take the full 12 weeks, as well as collect 67% of their weekly salary. 


But where exactly is this money coming from? The state plans to fund this policy by deducting $1 per week from employees’ paychecks. 

This is a pretty big move for New York State, considering the fact that the only plan currently in place in the U.S. for paid family leave is pretty flimsy and riddled with limitations. 

For example, it doesn't require employers to pay employees anything for their time off, which pretty much prohibits families below a certain income level to benefit from the plan.

This new policy is definitely a step in the right direction. In a city where absolutely everything costs an arm and a leg, it’s nice to know that the government is working towards a future that helps to lift the financial burden that a lot of families face.