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New York City and California Push for Laws Requiring More Employee Leave Time


New York City and California Push for Laws Requiring More Employee Leave Time

January 15, 2019

New York and California are often characterized as two of the most employee-friendly states in the country. In continuation of that perception, New York City and California are announcing new employee leave initiatives.

New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing that NYC become the first city in the nation to mandate paid personal leave for employees. The proposed legislation would require private employers with five or more employees to offer 10 annual days of paid personal leave for any purpose.

Employees would be eligible to use that paid personal leave after 120 days of employment. Any unused paid personal leave could be carried over to the following year for a total maximum of 10 days of paid personal leave. Employers could also require up to two weeks notice in order for the employee to utilize the leave.

If passed, a law requiring paid personal leave to private sector employees would add to the growing number of leave laws in NYC. For example, starting in 2014, NYC required five days of paid sick leave.


Under California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, employees who qualify are entitled to up to six weeks of partial pay to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care. Birth mothers also may apply for an additional six to eight weeks of paid leave through the state’s disability program.

As part of California’s 2019 budget, Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a law that would allow two caretakers to split six months off. In other words, one parent could take three months and the other parent/partner/family member could take three additional months.

The details of both of these potential leave laws are still under discussion. In the meantime, businesses in both jurisdictions should consider how these potential new laws would affect their business.

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