May 27, 2020

May 26, 2020

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Westchester County, New York Issues Guidance and Mandatory Notices for Safe Time Leave Law

As we previously reported, effective October 30, 2019, Westchester County, NY employers are required to provide paid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking (“safe time”). Leave under the new ordinance will be in addition to paid time off already required to be provided to employees under the Westchester County paid sick leave law, which took effect on April 10, 2019.

In connection with the effective date of the safe time leave law, the Westchester County Human Rights Commission has released new FAQs as well as a Notice of Employee Rights and mandatory poster. While the Commission’s FAQs generally restate the law’s requirements, they do clarify the rate of pay employees must receive when taking leave. Specifically, employers must pay employees the hourly rate they would have otherwise earned had they reported to work. However, the FAQs do not address pay calculations for employees not paid on an hourly basis (e.g., piece-rate workers or employees who only earn commission).

Employers are required to provide both a copy of the safe leave ordinance and the Notice of Employee Rights to eligible employees on the first day of employment or within 90 days of the law’s effective date (i.e., by no later than January 28, 2020), whichever is later. Employers must also display a copy of the ordinance and the mandatory poster in both English and Spanish in a conspicuous location accessible to employees. Failure to comply with the notice and posting requirements can result in fines of up to $500 for each offense.

Employers in Westchester County, New York should review their existing policies and postings to ensure compliance with these requirements.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Allan Bloom, Litigation Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm

Allan Bloom is an experienced trial lawyer who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. He has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading financial services, investment management, technology, consumer products, telecommunications, publishing, insurance, construction, and lodging companies, as well as global law firms and cultural institutions, against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract, and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels.

Laura M. Fant, Labor & Employment Attorney, Proskauer Law Firm

Laura M. Fant is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the New York office. She is a member of the Accessibility and Accommodations Practice Group, and frequently counsels on matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state public accommodation law, as well as disability accommodation in the workplace. She has experience conducting accessibility audits and providing ADA and accessibility training for clients in a variety of sectors, including retail, sports, and not-for-profit. Her practice also focuses on wage and hour and class and collective action litigation, and she is a frequent contributor to the Proskauer on Class and Collective Actions blog.

Arielle Kobetz, Proskauer Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Arielle Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. She assists employers in a wide range of areas, including discrimination, wage and hour, and traditional labor.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Employment Law Unit, where she worked on a variety of employment discrimination and internal employee disciplinary issues.