Last month we addressed some leave of absence bills pending in various state legislatures. New York’s governor has signed one of these bills into law, adding organ and tissue donation to the definition of “serious health condition” under the New York Paid Family Leave law (NY PFL).
Specifically, a serious health condition will now include “transplantation preparation and recovery from surgery related to organ or tissue donation.” NY PFL only applies to leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition and other family leave reasons, so this will not affect employees’ own disability leaves. The law does not make any additional changes to the NY PFL, but it does include a prohibition against discrimination in the provision of life, accident, health, and long term care insurance based on the status of an insured as a living organ or tissue donor.
Definitions of “organ” and “tissue” are incorporated from the NY Public Health Law as follows:
4. “Organ” means a human kidney, heart, heart valve, lung, pancreas, liver or any other organ designated by the commissioner in regulation in consultation with the transplant council.
10. “Tissue” means a human eye, skin, bone, bone marrow, heart valve, spermatozoon, ova, artery, vein, tendon, ligament, pituitary gland or a fluid other than blood or a blood derivative.
What impact will this law have on family care leaves under NY PFL? Perhaps very little. Under NY PFL an employee is already entitled to take paid time off to care for certain family members with a serious health condition. This term is defined to include an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
(1) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or
(2) three days of incapacity due to a medical condition and continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider
It is hard to imagine a situation where an employee’s family member is an organ or tissue donor that doesn’t already satisfy one or both of these definitions of serious health condition. As a result, there is not likely to be much, if any, increase in use of NY PFL to care for a family member due to this new law.
The text of the law can be accessed through a link on this page. The new law goes into effect on February 3, 2019.
Matrix Can Help!
At Matrix we monitor state and federal legislative developments daily and report on any new or advancing leave- and accommodation-related laws to keep our clients and other business partners up to date. If you ever have questions about leave and accommodation laws – current or just introduced! – please contact your account manager or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.