What Employees Should Know About New Changes to NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law

Mayor De Blasio recently signed legislation amending NYC’s paid safe and sick leave law. The new changes took effect on September 30, 2020 and bring NYC’s law more into line with NYS’s paid sick leave law.

Key Changes to Be Aware of

The key changes in the law that employees in NYC should know about are the following:

  • Employees begin accruing leave immediately upon starting a job and can use the leave as soon as it is accrued; the previous requirement that an employee work for 80 hours to be eligible for safe/sick leave has been removed.
  • Employers with 4 or few employees who have a net income of $1 million or more must provide paid safe/sick leave of up to 40 hours a year.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of safe/sick leave a year.
  • Domestic workers must be provided with 40 hours of safe/sick leave a year; domestic workers include any person who provides care for a child, companionship for the sick, convalescing, or elderly person, housekeeping, or any other domestic service in a home or residence.
  • Employers who require documentation after 3 consecutive workdays for safe/sick leave must reimburse the employee for any fees charged by the health care provider for sick time and for the fees charged to obtain the required documentation.
  • An employee’s pay stub, or any document issued each pay period, must show the amount of safe/sick leave accrued and used during a pay period and the total balance of safe/sick time.
  • A notice about this law must now be posted in the workplace, as well as being provided to an employee upon being hired. Current employees must receive notice within 30 days of September 30, 2020.

Penalties for An Employer’s Non-Compliance

Penalties for failing to comply with these new requirements can amount to $500 per employee, if an employer is found to have a policy or practice of not providing safe/sick leave or refusing the use of such leave. Civil actions against an employer may also result in a penalty of up to $15,000 for an unlawful pattern or practice.

Interplay with other Laws

Employees should also be aware of how NYC’s law interacts with NYS’s paid sick leave law and with other paid leave laws, like NYS’s paid COVID-19 leave.

It is best to seek the advice of an experienced employment attorney if you are faced with or have concerns about any of these issues.

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