By Amy L. Varel
A new law passed earlier this year requires all New York employers to provide sick leave to their employees as follows:
- Employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million dollars or less are required to provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave each calendar year
- Employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of greater than $1 million dollars and employers with between 5 and 99 employees are required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave each calendar yea
- Employers with 100 or more employees are required to provide 56 hours of paid sick leave each calendar year.
The required sick leave must begin to accrue on September 30, 2020 and employees are allowed to begin taking the sick leave beginning on January 1, 2021. Employees must be allowed to carry over unused sick leave to the following year, provided that employers with fewer than 100 employees may limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours per calendar year and employers with 100 or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to 56 hours per calendar year. The sick leave must accrue at a rate of not less than one hour per every thirty hours worked. There are also specific requirements as to when an employer is required to allow an employee to use their sick leave. There are no exceptions to the new requirements for part time or temporary employees.
The commissioner of labor has authority to adopt regulations and issue guidance regarding the new law. We expect such additional guidance to be issued in the near future.
Employers who have adopted a sick leave policy or a time off policy that meets or exceeds the requirements of the new law are not required to provide any additional sick leave. We advise all New York employers to review their time off policies to ensure that they provide at least the minimum sick leave required, as well as comply with the carryover, accrual and other requirements of the new law.
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