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New York City Employers Must Prepare for Paid Sick Leave, Going into Effect April 1, 2014

With New York City’s announcement that the economic indicators for implementation of the NYC earned sick time have been satisfied, private-sector NYC employers (with the exception of manufacturing industry employers exempted from the enactment’s coverage) must now fully prepare for the statute’s application effective April 1, 2014. The requirements of the new law are summarized below.

  • Employers with at least 15 employees and employers with at least 1 domestic worker must provide employees with paid sick time, as indicated below, each calendar year (the calendar year can be any consecutive 12-month period determined by the employer).

    • For employers with at least 20 employees, paid sick leave must be provided effective April 1, 2014. 

    • For employers with 15-19 employees or 1 domestic worker, paid sick leave must be provided effective October 1, 2015; however such employers must provide unpaid time effective April 1, 2014. 

  • These requirements apply to employees who work more than 80 hours in NYC in a calendar year.

  • Employees, other than domestic workers, accrue 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum accrual of 40 hours per calendar year. 

  • Employees, other than domestic workers, begin accruing time at the start of employment or on April 1, 2014, whichever is later.

  • Employees, other than domestic workers, may begin using accrued time after the 120th calendar day of employment or on the 120th calendar day after the effective date of the legislation (July 30, 2014), whichever is later.

  • Employees can decide how much accrued time to use, but an employer may set a “reasonable” minimum increment of use of up to 4 hours.

  • Employees may use accrued time for absences due to:

    • the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for preventive medical care;

    • care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or who needs preventive medical care; or 

    • closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or such employee’s need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.

  • Employers may require reasonable notice of an employee’s need to use accrued time, such as up to 7 days, if the need is foreseeable.

  • Employers may require documentation to support the authorized reason for use of accrued time if the absence is for more than 3 consecutive work days.

  • Employers must allow employees, other than domestic workers, to carry over accrued unused time from one calendar year to the next, but the employer can cap usage at 40 hours in a calendar year.

  • Employers must retain records demonstrating compliance with the measure for 2 years and provide access to such records during a governmental investigation.

  • Employers are not required to pay out accrued unused time at separation.

  • With the employer’s consent, an employee who is absent for a covered reason may work additional hours in a period of time surrounding the absence, and, if the additional hours are fewer than the number of hours originally scheduled, the paid sick time can be used to make up the difference.

  • The provisions of the law do not apply to employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) if such CBA waives the provisions of the law and the CBA provides for a comparable benefit; however, in the grocery and construction industries, the provisions do not apply as long as they are expressly waived in the CBA.

  • Even businesses not covered by the paid sick time requirement must provide the same amount of sick time to their employees, although such time may be unpaid.

  • Employers covered by the legislation who already provide an amount of paid leave, including paid time off such as vacation or personal days, sufficient to meet the requirements of the legislation and who allow use of such paid leave for the same reasons and conditions as provided for in the legislation are not required to provide additional sick time pursuant to the legislation. 

  • Retaliation against employees who use paid or unpaid time provided by the law is prohibited.

  • Employers must provide employees at time of hire with a written notice of the employee’s rights under the law. This notice must be provided in both English and the employee’s primary language, provided that the City’s Department of Consumer Affairs has issued a model notice in such language. The Department is tasked with issuing model notices in various languages allowing employers to fill in applicable dates for such employer’s calendar year.

  • Aggrieved employees may file an administrative complaint, which shall be investigated by the Department. Penalties include lost wages, reinstatement and civil penalties.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019

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About this Author

Richard Greenberg, Jackson Lewis, workplace grievances lawyer, arbitrations litigation attorney
Principal

Richard Greenberg is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He advises both unionized and union-free clients on a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.

With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Greenberg represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court. Mr. Greenberg also advises clients on the legal aspects of remaining union-free....

212-545-4080
Daniel J. Jacobs, Jackson Lewis law firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Shareholder

Daniel J. Jacobs is a Shareholder in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He assists both unionized and union-free clients with a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.
With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Jacobs represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, contingency planning, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court.
Mr. Jacobs also has experience assisting clients in numerous industries with the development and maintenance of personnel policies, reorganizations and reductions in force, purchase/sale transactions, sexual harassment and other workplace conduct rules, wrongful discharge and other workplace litigation.

212-545-4000
Joseph J. Lynett, Jackson Lewis, educational institutions lawyer, disabled students litigation attorney
Principal

Joseph J. Lynett is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on assisting employers, businesses, and educational institutions in meeting the legal and practical challenges posed by federal and state laws protecting injured and ill employees, as well as disabled students and members of the public.

Mr. Lynett defends employers, business and educational institutions in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity...

914-872-6888