New York Paid Sick Leave

TOP New York Paid Sick Leave
Amount of Leave
WYSIWYG

Employees will receive an amount of sick leave depending on the size of their employer:  

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

For counting employees, small employers with 4 or fewer employees and who reported a net income of $1 million or less do not need to pay their employees sick leave, but must provide the additional allotted leave time. Note: “calendar year” means the 12-month period from January 1 to December 31. For other purposes, including use and accrual of leave, employers may set a calendar year to mean any 12-month period.

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Accruals
Accruals
WYSIWYG

Employees begin accruing leave on September 30, 2020. Leave must be accrued at a rate not less than one hour for every thirty hours worked.

Alternate Accrual System

As an alternative to employees accruing 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, employers may choose to provide the full amount of sick leave required by this law at the beginning of each calendar year (e.g., a business with over a 100 employees could provide 56 hours of sick leave to each employee starting January 1 of each year or at the beginning of a twelve month period as determined by the employer. Such up-front sick leave is not subject to later revocation or reduction if, for instance, the employee works fewer hours than anticipated by the employer).

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Eligibility
Eligibility
WYSIWYG

All private-sector employees in New York State are covered, regardless of industry, occupation, part-time status, and overtime exempt status. Federal, state, and local government employees are NOT covered, but employees of charter schools, private schools, and not-for-profit corporations are covered.

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Permitted Uses
Permitted Uses
WYSIWYG

After January 1, 2021, employees may use accrued leave following a verbal or written request to their employer for the following reasons impacting the employee or a member of their family for whom they are providing care or assistance with care: 

Sick Leave: 

  • For mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, regardless of whether it has been diagnosed or requires medical care at the time of the request for leave; or 
  • For the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or need for medical diagnosis or preventive care. 

Safe Leave: 

  • For an absence from work when the employee or employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence as defined by the State Human Rights Law, a family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking due to any of the following as it relates to the domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking: 
    • to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other services program; 
    • to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members; 
    • to meet with an attorney or other social services provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding; 
    • to file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement; 
    • to meet with a district attorney’s office; 
    • to enroll children in a new school; or 
    • to take any other actions necessary to ensure the health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee. 

LEAVE INCREMENTS

Employers are permitted to require that leave be used in increments (e.g., 15 minutes, 1 hour, etc.) but may not set the minimum increment at more than 4 hours.

Employers are permitted to limit the leave taken in any year to the maximum amount required to be provided to such employee (e.g., 40 hours for midsized employers and 56 hours for large employers). Any limitations permitted by the law must be put into writing and either posted or given to employees.

Employers must notify employees in writing or by posting a notice in the worksite, prior to the leave being earned, of any restrictions in their leave policy affecting the employees’ use of leave, including any limitations on leave increments.

RATE OF PAY

Employees must be paid their normal rate of pay for any paid leave time under this law, or the applicable minimum wage rate, whichever is greater.  No allowances or credits (e.g., tip credits) may be claimed for paid leave hours, and employers are prohibited from reducing an employee’s rate of pay for sick leave hours only. 

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Existing Policies
Existing Policies
WYSIWYG

If an employer, including those covered by a collective bargaining agreement, has an existing leave policy (sick leave or other time off) that meets or exceeds the accrual, carryover, and use requirements, this law does not present any further obligations on that employer.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

Collective bargaining agreements that are entered into after September 30, 2020 are not required to provide the sick leave described above so long as the agreement provides for comparable benefits/paid days off for employees and specifically acknowledges the provisions of Labor Law 196-b. For the purposes of collective bargaining agreements, the Department of Labor considers leave time which has fewer restrictions on its use to be comparable to that required by this law, regardless of the label of such leave (e.g., annual or vacation time) and multiple leave benefits which meet the use requirements of this law may be combined to satisfy the “comparable benefit” requirement. To satisfy the requirements of this law, any agreement entered into after September 30, 2020 must specifically reference Labor Law Section 196-b.

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Retaliation
Retaliation
WYSIWYG

An employer cannot retaliate against an employee in any way for exercising their rights to use sick leave. Furthermore, employees must be restored to their position of employment as it had been prior to any sick leave taken. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for exercising their sick leave rights should contact the Department of Labor’s Anti-Retaliation Unit at 888-52-LABOR or [email protected].

Employers must keep payroll records for six years which must include the amount of sick leave accrued and used by each employee on a weekly basis.

Upon the request of an employee, employers are required provide, within three business days, a summary of the amounts of sick leave accrued and used by the employee in the current calendar year and/or any previous calendar year.

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Recordkeeping
Recordkeeping
WYSIWYG

Employers must keep payroll records for six years which must include the amount of sick leave accrued and used by each employee on a weekly basis.

Upon the request of an employee, employers are required to provide, within three business days, a summary of the amounts of sick leave accrued and used by the employee in the current calendar year and/or any previous calendar year.  

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FAQs
FAQs
WYSIWYG

Please review the frequently asked questions regarding New York State's Paid Sick Leave program.

Paid Sick Leave FAQs

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Proposed Regs
Proposed Regs
WYSIWYG

A New Part 196 is added to read as follows:

Part 196

Sick Leave

 

Section 196-1.1. Purpose

 

This part establishes rules and regulations for Sick Leave as set forth by Section 196-b of the Labor Law.

 

Section 196-1.2. Definitions

 

The following terms shall have the following meanings for the purposes of Labor Law 196-b and this Part:

(a) Confidential Information means individually identifiable health or mental health information, including but not limited to, diagnosis and treatment records from emergency services, health providers, or drug and alcohol abuse prevention or rehabilitation centers. Confidential information also means information that is treated as confidential or for which disclosure is prohibited under another applicable law, rule, or regulation.

(b) Domestic Partner shall have the same meaning as Domestic Partner, as set forth in section 2961(6-a) of the New York Public Health Law.

(c) Family Offense includes any offense enumerated in section 812(1) of the New York Family Court Act, where such acts are between current and former members of the same family or household, as defined therein.

(d) Human Trafficking means an act or threat of an act that may constitute sex trafficking, as defined in section 230.34 of the Penal Law, or labor trafficking, as defined in section 135.35 and 135.36 of the Penal Law.

(e) Mental Illness shall have the same meaning as mental illness, as set forth in section 1.03(20) of the New York Mental Hygiene law.

(f) Net Income shall have the same meaning as entire net income, as set forth in section 208(9) of the New York Tax Law.

 

(g) Preventative Medical Care means routine health care including but not limited to screenings, checkups, and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, or other health problems.

 

(h) Sexual Offense means any act, or threat of an act, specified within Article 130 of the New York State Penal Law.

 

(i) Stalking means any act, or threat of an act, that constitutes the crime of stalking as defined by Article 120 of the New York State Penal Law.

 

Section 196-1.3 Documentation

 

(a) An employer may not require medical or other verification in connection with sick leave that lasts less than three consecutive previously scheduled workdays or shifts.

(b) No employer shall require an employee to pay any costs or fees associated with obtaining medical or other verification of eligibility for use of sick leave.

(c) No employer shall require an employee to provide confidential information, including the nature of an illness, its prognosis, treatment, or other related information, nor shall any employer require any details or information regarding leave taken pursuant to Section 196-b(4)(a)(iii) of the Labor Law (otherwise known as safe leave). An employer may not require that the attestation explain the nature of the illness or details related to domestic violence, sexual offense, family offense, human trafficking, or stalking that necessitates the use of safe leave.

(d) Except where prohibited by law, an employer may request documentation from an employee confirming their eligibility to take sick leave under Section 196-b of the Labor Law where the employee uses leave for three or more consecutive and previously scheduled workdays or shifts. An employer cannot require an employee or the person providing documentation, including medical professionals, to disclose the reason for leave, except as required by law. Requests for documentation shall be limited to the following:

 

(1) An attestation from a licensed medical provider supporting the existence of a need for sick leave, the amount of leave needed, and a date that the employee may return to work, or

(2) An attestation from an employee of their eligibility to leave.

 

Section 196-1.4 Employee Counts

 

(a) For the purposes of Section 196-b, the number of employees employed by an employer during a calendar year shall be determined by counting the highest total number of employees concurrently employed at any point during the calendar year to date.

 

(1) For employers that increase the number of employees during a calendar year above any threshold contained in Section 196-b(1):

 

(i) The accrual of additional required leave up to the entitlement amount in Section 196-b(1) shall be prospective from the date of such increase and shall not entitle employees to reimbursement for previously used unpaid leave or to use more than the maximum amount of leave set by the employer in accordance with Section 196-b(6).

 

(ii) Prior accruals of used and unused paid leave and used unpaid leave in a calendar year may be credited by an employer toward any increased paid leave obligations under

Section 196-b. Employers may not credit any prior accrual of unused unpaid leave toward any paid leave obligations.

 

(iii) Employees shall retain all existing accruals of paid and unpaid leave notwithstanding an increase in the number of employees during a calendar year.

 

(2) Reductions in the number of employees working for an employer shall not reduce employee leave entitlements under Section 196-b until the following calendar year.

 

(b) Employees on paid or unpaid leave, including sick leave, leaves of absence, disciplinary suspension, or any other type of temporary absence, are counted as long as the employer has a reasonable expectation that the employee will later return to active employment. If there is no employment relationship (as when an employee is laid off or terminated, whether temporarily or permanently), such individual is not counted.

 

(c) Part-time employees are considered to be employed each working day of the calendar week.

 

(d) Employees jointly employed by more than one employer must be counted by each employer, whether or not they are on the employer's payroll records, for the purposes of determining each employer’s leave obligation under Section 196-b.

 

Section 196-1.5 Accruals

 

(a) Employee accruals of leave must account for all time worked, regardless of whether time worked is less than a 30-hour increment.

(b) For the purposes of calculating accruals for time worked in increments of less than 30 hours, employers may round accrued leave to the nearest 5 minutes, or to the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour, provided that it will not result, over a period of time, in a failure to provide the proper accrual of leave to employees for all the time they have actually worked.

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