Paid Sick Time Coming to the Big Apple
Overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto, the New York City Council has voted to require private sector employers (outside of the manufacturing industry) to provide paid sick time for employees.
New York City measures their economy based on a financial index maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. If it is at or above its January 2012 level, the legislation would be effective April 1, 2014 for employers with at least 20 employees and October 1, 2015 for employers with 15-19 employees or 1 domestic worker. However, employers with 15-19 or 1 domestic worker must provide unpaid time effective April 1, 2014. The implementation will be delayed if the financial index is below the January 2012 level.
Major highlights of the legislation are outlined below:
- Employers with at least 15 employees and employers with at least 1 domestic worker must provide employees with paid sick time each calendar year (the calendar year can be any consecutive 12-month period as determined by the employer).
- Employees, other than domestic workers, accrue 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per calendar year. This time begins accruing at the start of employment or on the effective date of legislation, whichever is later. They may begin using this accrued time after the 120th calendar day of employment or on the 120th calendar day after the effective date of the legislation, whichever is later.
- Employees can decide how much accrued time to use, but an employer may set a “reasonable” minimum increment of use up to 4 hours. This time can be used for absences related to:
the employee’s physical or mental illness, injury or health condition or need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a physical or mental illness, injury or health condition or need for preventive medical care;
care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment physical or mental illness, injury or health condition or who needs preventive medical care; or
closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or such employee’s need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.