NY’s New Permanent Paid Sick Leave Now in Effect

This article highlights some of the main points and impact of the recently enacted New York State Sick Leave Law (NYSSL). Even though it went into effect officially on 9/30/20, employees can use any of its protections until 1/1/21.

Let’s do a Top Fifteen Items to Know (with subparts so, like, really its a top twenty or so):

1. The amount of NYSSL employees will be entitled to use will vary by employer size and income:

a. Employers with at least 100 employees must provide 56 hours of paid sick leave.

b. Employers with fewer than 100 employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave.

c. Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income in excess of $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave.

d. Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.

2. Sick time will accrue at a rate of 1 hour of every 30 hours worked, but an employer may elect to frontload all sick time at the beginning of the year.

3. Employers may set a reasonable minimum increment for use, which cannot exceed 4 hours.

4. The new Sick Time can be used for:

a. Employee’s mental or physical illness, or injury, or diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for employee’s mental or physical illness or injury;

b. Covered family member’s mental or physical illness or injury or diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for a covered family member’s mental or physical illness or injury;

c. Absences related to employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking; or

d. Absences related to a covered family member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.

NOTE: The term “Family Member” is broadly defined to include an employee’s child (biological, adopted, or foster child, a legal ward, or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis), spouse, domestic partner, parent (biological, foster, step, adoptive, legal guardian, or person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child), sibling, grandchild, or grandparent; and the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner. Also NYC already has other laws in place for victims of Domestic Violence that may interact with the NYSSL’s requirements.

5. Unused sick time must be carried over to the following year.

6. Employees may request – in writing or orally – a summary of the amount of sick leave accrued and used by the employee; the employer must provide the requested summary within three (3) business days of the request.

7. Employers may not require employees to disclose any confidential information in verifying the need for sick leave.

8. Employees have a right to reinstatement and protections against retaliation for exercising rights under the NYSSL.

9. The NYS Labor Commissioner is empowered to adopt regulations and to issue guidance on the NYSSL, no such guidance has been issued to date, though it is anticipated that such guidance(s) will issue before the end of the year.

10. Employees in New York City and Westchester County, also have separate and distinct rights under those municipalities own laws.

11. Since the law goes into effect now, accrued time from now until the end of the year, can be carried over next year.

12. If an employee now asks for a statement of accrued/used time now, it should be provided within three (3) business days.

13. Employers must keep records of sick leave for six (6) years.

14. Employees must get their same positions and employment conditions upon return from sick leave.

15. Sick pay must be at regular rate of pay or minimum wage (whichever is higher, of course) meaning tipped employees must be paid at minimum wage

Hope this helps!

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