Association Joined Gov. Cuomo to Fight for New Law; Now Launching Educational Campaign via Airwaves

NEW YORK, N.Y. – AARP is taking to the airwaves to make sure working New Yorkers know they can start taking advantage of the state’s new paid family leave law beginning January 1.

AARP New York is spreading the news via television, radio, social media and other media that private sector and some public sector employees can take up to eight weeks of partially paid, job-protected leave from work beginning in the new year.

The association went to the State Capitol last year, joining Governor Andrew Cuomo to fight to pass paid family leave in the state Legislature.

AARP’s message: paid family leave is for any working New Yorker who qualifies – from parents of newborns to military spouses to family caregivers who care for an older parent or spouse.

“Nobody should have to choose between their job and caring for a family member, and we want to make sure working New Yorkers know that they won’t have to anymore,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “New York’s new paid family leave law will provide critical support for unpaid family caregivers. There are nearly 2.6 million family caregivers across New York who provide care valued at over $31 billion annually. Many struggle to balance work and caregiving every day. This new law will help ease that strain.

“And it will help family caregivers help their loved ones age at home, rather than in far costlier and mostly taxpayer-funded institutional care settings.”

AARP’s campaign will include a livestreamed town hall the evening of November 28 at the ABC studios in Manhattan, a live broadcast, and a community affairs radio segment in January. It will also include digital ads as well as television and radio commercials airing throughout the fall and into 2018 from Buffalo to Brookhaven.

The campaign will provide information to working New Yorkers about whether they might qualify and the benefits they would receive if they take time off to care for a sick family member or newborn or to accommodate the military requirements of a family member. More information about the law is available at www.aarp.org/nypaidleave.

Family caregivers spend roughly $5,500 per year out of pocket for food, travel, transportation, medical insurance co-pays, medications and other costs to care for loved ones, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. And the average caregiver loses over $300,000, conservatively, in wages, pension and Social Security benefits as a result of caregiving responsibilities, MetLife reported.

At first, the new law will provide up to half a worker’s pay. The benefit increases gradually to up to 12 weeks in 2021 and up to two thirds the worker’s pay.

Contacts: Jordan McNerney, jmcnerney@aarp.org; Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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