Global Compliance Desk – New York

New York – New Paid Sick Leave Law 

On April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law the State Budget (Senate Bill S7506B), which includes a provision that amends the New York Labor Law to require employers to provide paid sick leave (“PSL”). The law goes into effect on September 30, 2020. However, employees may be restricted from utilizing accrued sick leave until January 1, 2021. To access the FAQs on the new New York paid sick leave, access this link.

Currently, New York State does not have a paid sick leave entitlement available to employees. 

New York State employers need not provide additional leave if they already maintain a sick leave or other paid leave under their employment policy that provides employees with the same or greater amount of leave as required under the law and which otherwise satisfies the law’s accrual, carryover, and usage requirements.

Amount of Leave

Under the new sick leave provisions:

  • Employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year are required to provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year.
  • Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of greater than $1 million in the previous tax year are required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
  • Employers with 5 to 99 employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees must provide 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.

In order to calculate the number of employees, a “calendar year” is defined as the 12-month period from January 1 through December 31. 

For the purposes of using and accruing leave, a “calendar year” means either January 1 through December 31 or any regular and consecutive 12-month period.

Accrual

Employees must accrue sick leave at a rate of at least 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.  An employer can fulfill their obligation under the law by providing the full amount of sick leave in a lump sum at the beginning of each year alternatively.

Reason for Leave

An employee may use sick leave for the following reasons:

  • Mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of an employee or the employee’s family member (regardless of whether a diagnosis has been obtained);
  • Diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness injury, or health condition of, or the need for medical diagnosis of, or preventative care for, the employee or employee’s family member; or
  • Absence when an employee or employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence, a family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking and seeks or obtains services, including from a shelter, attorney or law enforcement, or takes “any other action to ensure the health or safety of the employee or family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

A family member includes an employee’s child (including foster child, legal ward, or equivalent legal relationship), spouse, domestic partner, parent (including a step- or foster parent, legal guardian, or equivalent legal relationship), sibling, grandchild, grandparent, and the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner.

An employer may set a reasonable minimum increment at which leave must be used; however, this increment may not exceed 4 hours.

Sick Leave Pay

Compensation must be at the employee’s regular rate or the minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Carry Over

Unused sick leave carries over to the following year, though employers with fewer than 100 employees may limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours per year, and employers with 100 or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to 56 hours per year.

Documentation

An employer is required to track the amount of sick leave provided to each employee and maintain this information in its payroll records for a duration of 6 years. Employers will be effectively required to track paid sick leave accrued and used by employees separately. 

Shreya Bhattacharya
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Bhattacharya
A labor and employment lawyer at Replicon who specializes in global compliance. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. Replicon is an industry leader in global compliance and has a dedicated team which pro-actively monitors international labor regulations for ensuring proper adherence with specific country rule requirements.
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