New York City Expands Paid Sick Leave for Employees
Effective January 1, 2021, New York City is expanding its paid sick leave law. The amendments to the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law (“NYCPSL”) provide the following:
- Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave per calendar year,
- Employers with 5-99 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick and safe leave per calendar year, and
- Employers with 4 employees or less must provide paid sick and safe leave if the employer’s net income is greater than $1 million or unpaid sick and safe leave if net income is $1 million or less.
Further, NYC employers are required to note the amount of sick and safe time accrued and used during each pay period as well as each employee’s total balance accrued sick and safe time on each employee’s pay statement.
Sick time is defined in § 20-914a as time for absence from work due to an employee’s or a family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for medical diagnoses, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for preventative medical care or closure of an 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.
Safe time is defined in § 20-914b as time for absence from work due to any of the following reasons when the employee or employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence.
This expanded sick leave is in effect as the COVID outbreak continues to surge through the winter months. The NYCPSL is broad and includes time off needed to take the COVID vaccine once it becomes available and time off to care for a health condition of the employee’s family member.
Additionally, an anti-retaliation provision was added to the NYCPSL. The anti-retaliation provision is implicated when an employee’s use of NYCPSL is a motivating factor for an adverse employment action. The NYCPSL also permits the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (“DCWP”) to bring pattern or practice enforcement actions with expanded subpoena and investigative powers, that could incorporate civil penalties for each employee who was not permitted to utilize NYCPSL.
These benefits are on top of the sick leave employers must provide under existing state and federal law.