New York’s New Paid Sick Leave Law Effective September 30, 2020

• On April 3, 2020 Governor Cuomo signed a bill, which includes an amendment to the Labor Law that requires New York employers to provide sick leave to all employees

• This new law becomes effective September 30, 2020
Amount of Sick Leave: Every New York employer will be required to provide its employees with sick leave as follows, based on number of employees:
o Four or fewer employees:

  •  up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave each year; or
  •  40 hours of paid sick leave each year, if the employer has a net income greater than $1 million

o Between 5 and 99 employees: up to 40 hours of paid sick leave
o 100 or more employees: up to 56 hours of paid sick leave
Use of Sick Time: on or after January 1, 2020, and upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer shall provide accrued sick leave for the following purposes:
o for a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of the employee or employee’s family member, regardless of whether the illness, injury, or health condition has been diagnosed or requires medical care at the time of the employee’s request for leave;
o for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of, or need for medical diagnosis of, or preventative care for, the employee or employee’s family member;
o for an absence of work due to any of the following reasons when the employee or employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence, a family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking:

  • to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other services program;
  • to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members;
  • to meet with an attorney or other social services provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding;
  • to file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;
  • to meet with a district attorney’s office;
  • to enroll children in a new school; or
  • to take any other actions necessary to ensure the health or safety of the employee or employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

Family Member: Family member is defined as an employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, and the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner
Additional Benefits: Employers may voluntarily provide more sick leave or additional benefits; employers do not have to provide additional sick leave if the employer already has a policy that provides employees with an amount of leave that meets or exceeds the requirements of this new law, including the accrual, carryover, and use requirements
Accrual Rate: Employees shall accrue sick leave at a rate not less than 1 hour per every 30 hours worked, beginning at the commencement of employment or on September 30, 2020, whichever is later; employers must calculate and keep track of accrued sick time of their employees
Minimum Increments: An employer may set a reasonable minimum increment for use of sick leave which shall not exceed 4 hours
Carryover: Sick leave may be carried over to the following year, but an employer with fewer than 100 employees may limit use of sick leave to 40 hours per year, and an employer with 100 or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to 56 hours per year
Payment Upon Separation from Employment: Employers are not required to pay an employee for unused sick leave upon the employee’s separation from employment
Retaliation: Employers may not discharge an employee because of the employee’s use of sick leave under this law
Restoration: Upon return from leave, an employee shall be restored to his or her position of employment held by the employee prior to such leave, with the same pay and other terms and conditions of employment
Summary of Leave: Within 3 business days of an oral or written request by an employee, employers must provide a summary of the amounts of sick leave accrued and used by an employee in the current and/or any previous calendar year
Confidential Information: An employer may not require the disclosure of confidential information relating to a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of an employee or the employee’s family member, or information relating to absence from work due to domestic violence, a sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking, as a condition of providing sick leave

The Attorneys in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP are available to provide advice and counsel concerning matters related to this new law.

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