New York City Publishes Additional Guidance on Paid Sick Leave Law
Under New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law), employers with five or more employees must provide at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide sick leave on an unpaid basis.
Much like the other paid sick leave laws that have been enacted in municipalities across the country, NYC’s law controls everything from the amount of notice and documentation that can be required of an employee to how much leave an employee must be allowed to carry over from year to year. Employers that already provide some form of paid time off (or “PTO”), be it vacation, sick leave, or personal leave, do not need to provide additional time for sick leave, as long as the employer’s policies do not impose any additional restrictions on the use of sick leave. This means that the employee’s existing leave must be earned at the same rate and must be used for the same authorized reasons as defined in the Paid Sick Leave Law.
In the months since the law took effect on April 1, 2014, the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has published an abundance of information for employers on its website, including but not limited to:
- The “Notice of Employee Rights” that employers are required to provide to all existing and new employees in English and, if available on the DCA website, the employee’s primary language;
- Sick leave timekeeping tools;
- A model form that employers can require employees to complete and submit when verifying that they used sick leave for purposes covered under the Paid Sick Leave Law;
- A model form that employers can require employees to sign if they want to use earned sick leave for a foreseeable need;
- A model form that employers can require employees sign if they would like to work additional hours instead of using their sick leave AND both the employer and employee consent; and
- Most recently, a publication entitled “Answers to Employer Questions.”
Employers subject to multiple paid sick leave laws should make sure their sick leave policies are compliant, as most of the sick leave laws differ in one way or another. For example, 10 municipalities in New Jersey currently have paid sick leave laws on the books, including Newark, Jersey City, Bloomfield, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Irvington, Trenton, Montclair, and Elizabeth, while the New Brunswick City Council just recently introduced its own paid sick leave ordinance. Additionally, California, Connecticut and Massachusetts currently have state-wide paid sick leave laws, with Oregon’s scheduled to become effective January 1, 2016.
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