Employees in New York City can already earn paid sick leave. As of the start of the new year, workers statewide will follow suit.
Updates to the labor laws require all employers to provide an opportunity for workers to earn paid time away from work. While the accrual of sick leave hours began on September 30, employees are not able to use their sick time hours until January 1.
How many hours of sick time can employees earn?
The number of sick leave hours each employer must provide depends primarily on the size of its workforce. For example, employers who have 100 or more employees must provide paid sick leave up to 56 hours each calendar year. Up to 40 hours of paid leave are necessary when employing between five and 99 employees.
However, although smaller employers must allow sick time off, the required reimbursement depends on net income. An employer with four employees or less must allow workers up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave each year. If its net income exceeds one million dollars, however, employees will have the right to up to 40 hours of paid sick time.
Coverage for time away from work
Depending on the policies in effect, companies that already offer paid sick leave might not make changes. Meanwhile, there is no restriction placed on employers offering their employees more than the new legal requirement.
Once hours are available for use, employees can utilize their sick leave hours for treatment related to a physical or mental health condition, either for themselves or specific family members.
Additionally, these hours can be utilized if an employee or one of their family members suffers due to human trafficking, stalking, a sex offense or domestic violence. In these cases, employees may take time to:
- Relocate to a safe location
- File a report with law enforcement
- Seek help from a shelter
- Prepare for court
- Enroll children in a different school
Employees can choose whether they disclose the details about their leave since the law prohibits employers from requiring involved personal information. Furthermore, retaliatory actions are unlawful after a worker exercises their rights.