Paid Sick Leave to Become Law in New York City

Last month, the New York City Council voted in favor of legislation that would require some employers to provide paid sick days to their employees. Excluded from the law’s coverage are employers in the manufacturing industry. Also, some employers would only be required to provide unpaid sick leave. Depending upon the New York City economy, the law would take effect on April 1, 2014 for those employers that employ at least 20 employees, and October 15, 2015, for employers with less than 20 employees but at least 15 employees. Employers who employ at least 1 worker would be required to provide unpaid sick leave effective April 1, 2014 and paid leave effective October 15, 2015.

Under the New York law, employees, other than domestic workers, would accrue 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum paid sick time accrual of 40 hours in a consecutive 12 month period.

Employers that already provide paid sick time equivalent to that required by the legislation, in the form of personal days and vacation, will not be required to provide additional days under the law as long as the paid time policy covers the same reasons for leave set forth in the law. The law will also prohibit retaliation against employees for exercising their rights under the law.

Currently, neither New York City nor New York State mandates paid time off for private employees, who are not covered by a contract or collective bargaining agreement. Such employees are only entitled to unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), assuming they meet the eligibility requirements and work for a covered employer under the FMLA.

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