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Do New York Employees Get Paid Sick Leave?


Getting sick and needing time to rest and recover is something we can’t control. The importance of taking time off from work while you’re ill is something people are especially aware of today. However, taking sick time off from work isn’t always easy for all employees and there is no federal law that requires employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Fortunately for many employees in New York, this is required under the state’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law. New York City employees also have rights under the city’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law.

Learn more about what leave employees in New York State and New York City are entitled to.

New York State and City Paid Sick and Safe Leave

New York State and City Paid Sick and Safe Leave applies to private-sector employees. While federal, state, and local government employees are not covered, employees of charter schools, private schools, and not-for-profit corporations do receive coverage under this law. An employee’s industry, occupation, part-time status, overtime exempt status, and seasonal status do not affect their eligibility to receive paid sick and safe leave.

What amount of leave employees receive under the state and local laws depends on the size of their employer:

  • 0-4 Employees – Employers with a net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. If their net income is more than $1 million in the previous tax year, they must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.
  • 5-99 Employees – Employers with 5-99 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.
  • 100+ Employees – Employers with 100+ employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave.

Employees covered by this law may take sick or safe leave for reasons impacting themselves or a member of their family they are providing care and assistance to. Sick leave may include mental or physical illnesses, injuries, or health conditions, as well as to receive the diagnosis, care, or treatment. Safe leave may be used when the employee or their family member has been a victim of domestic violence as defined by the State Human Rights Law, a family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking. This time can be used to seek service programs, meet with an attorney, and any other actions to ensure their health and safety.

Additionally, employees are protected from retaliation for exercising their rights to take sick or safe leave. This includes harassing them, demoting them, reducing their hours or pay, and any other adverse employment action caused by them taking leave they’re entitled to.

Protect Your Employee Rights with Brown Kwon & Lam

Employees in New York City have various rights afforded to them. However, employers don’t always respect these rights. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we assist employees in New York City with a wide range of employee rights violations. You deserve to be treated fairly and with respect in the workplace, and if this isn’t the case, we can help.

Contact our employee rights attorneys today to protect yourself in the workplace.