Important Reminder for all New York City Employers: New York City’s Paid Sick Time Law Goes into Effect April 1, 2014

March 2014Employment Alert

New York City's Earned Sick Time Act ("the Act") will go into effect for certain employers on April 1, 2014. The Act requires virtually all private-sector employers to provide their full-time and part-time New York City employees who work for more than 80 hours in a calendar year up to five paid sick leave days per year.

While the original legislation only applied to employers with 15 or more employees, last month the New York City Council passed an amendment to the Act expanding its coverage. As a result of the amendment, employers with five or more employees will be required to provide up to five paid sick leave days per year to each of their employees.

Employers subject to the paid sick time provisions of the Act must provide a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked by an employee; however, employers are not required to provide more than 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

As for employers with fewer than five employees and who are not required to provide paid sick leave, these employers must still provide employees with up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.

Under the Act, employees begin to accrue sick time at the commencement of employment and may begin to use their accrued sick leave on the 120th day after the commencement of employment or on the 120th day after commencement of the Act, whichever is later.

The Act does not require an employer to provide additional paid sick leave to employees if it already provides other paid time off, such as personal days or paid vacation, that is equivalent to the paid sick leave required by the Act.

Employers must provide new employees, at the commencement of employment, with written notice of the employee's right to sick time, as well as other aspects pertaining to accrual and the right to be free from retaliation. Employers must provide current employees with notice of their rights under the Act by May 1, 2014. The notice must be in English and in the primary language of the employee, if available. The notice may also be posted in an area accessible to employees.

Take-Away for Employers:

Employers that already have paid sick leave policies should also review their policies to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements of the Act. Employers without a sick time policy should give serious consideration to adopting one in advance of April 1, 2014 or to revise their current PTO or vacation policy so that it is clear it encompasses paid sick leave.

Those employers who have offices in other jurisdictions that have their own "sick leave law" (such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco) will need to develop separate policies or coordinate a single policy that complies with multiple laws.

Special thanks to Daniella M. Muller, an associate in the Employment Practice Group, for her assistance preparing this alert.

For more information on this issue or other employment matters, please contact:

Mara B. Levin at +1 212 592 1458 or [email protected]
Carol M. Goodman at +1 212 592 1465 or [email protected]

Copyright © 2014 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. Published by Herrick, Feinstein LLP for information purposes only. Nothing contained herein is intended to serve as legal advice or counsel or as an opinion of the firm.