New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act

January 24, 2014

New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (the Act) goes into effect on April 1, 2014.  The Act was signed into law on June 26, 203, however, the effective date of the Act was uncertain until New York City’s Independent Budget Office announced that the minimum economic threshold were met on December 13, 2013.

Starting April 1, 2014, the Act requires employers with 20 or more employees working within the city of New York to provide at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked by an employee, up to 40 hours of sick leave per year. Employers with an average of 15 to 19 employees in the city have until October 1, 2015 to start providing paid sick leave, but must start providing unpaid sick leave to employees effective April 1, 2014.

Sick leave hours will begin accruing for each employee on the Act’s effective date or the employee’s date of hire, whichever is later. However, the Act does not require employers to allow sick leave to be used until the employee has been accruing leave for 120 calendar days. After 120 days, an employee must be allowed to use sick leave as it is accrued, subject to reasonable minimum increment requirements. Employees who are exempt from overtime requirements are assumed to work no more than 40 hours each week for the purpose of accruing sick leave.

Under the Act, sick leave can be used for the employee’s own illness or injury, care of an ill or injured family member, a closure of the employee’s worksite due to public health emergency or official order, or public health emergency or official order closing the employee’s child’s school or childcare provider. Family members include the employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, and parent, as well as the child and parent of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner.

The provisions of this Act do not apply to certain types of employees, such as federal work study program participants, independent contractors, hourly professional employees, or collective bargaining employees covered by an agreement expressly waiving the provisions.

If you have 15 or more employees working in New York City, please reference NYC Earned Sick Time Act for more information or contact your Keller account team.