As of September 30, all employers in New York State must provide paid sick leave for employees. However, The New York State Sick Leave (NYSSL) law will not allow employees to use NYSSL until January 1, 2021.
Employers are now required to begin recording accruals for paid sick leave for every employee, and the accrued time will carry over year to year starting January 1, 2021. NYSSL explains that employees are to receive sick leave benefits at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. An employer can also elect to frontload all sick time at the start of the year. The minimum hours that an employee may use each year are determined based on employer size and income as follows:
- 1-4 Employees: 40 hours of unpaid sick leave
- 1-4 Employees with employer net income greater than $1 million: 40 hours of paid sick leave
- 5 to 99 Employees: 40 hours of paid sick leave
- 100+ Employees: 56 hours of paid sick leave
Sick leave time under the law can be used for any of the following conditions for the employee or the employee’s family member:
- Mental/physical illness, injury, or health condition
- Diagnosis, care, or treatment of mental/physical illness, injury, or health condition
- Domestic violence services and assistance
It is important to note that under the law, a family member includes a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, and the child or parent of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner.
Employees in New York State should know that the new law does not include or diminish the COVID-19-specific paid sick leave benefit for employees quarantining in accordance with a mandatory or precautionary order.
Employee Rights Under NYSSL
As an employee in New York State, you are afforded certain rights and responsibilities under NYSSL. These include:
- Sick leave accrued request must be made in writing or verbally to the employer who then must provide the summary of time requested, used, and accrued within three days of the request
- Employers cannot require employees to disclose confidential information about the use of NYSSL
- Employees can seek reinstatement and legal protections if retaliated against for using time granted under NYSSL
Employees who live and work in New York City and Westchester County should talk to their employer about the use of sick time under the new state law as it will interact with already existing sick leave requirements as per the county and city.
If you are an employee in New York State and have questions about your rights under NYSSL, contact us.
New York Sick Leave Attorneys: Brown Kwon & Lam
If your employer does not abide by the rules established in the New York State Sick Leave law or you believe you were retaliated against for using sick time accrued under the law, you need the legal guidance from a New York employee rights attorney. You need Brown Kwon & Lam. Contact us today for a free consultation.