New York City has become the latest city to adopt a paid sick leave law that will guarantee paid time off for many NYC employees. The law is expected to affect up to 500,000 employees.
On March 20, 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law The NYC Paid Sick Leave Act. The new rules and regulations went into effect on July 30th 2014.
So how does the new paid leave law affect employees?
Essentially, the new law requires that employers with five or more employees provide all employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. Such paid sick leave may be earned by any employee who performs more than 80 hours of work in NYC in a calendar year. The law further stipulates that an employee must accrue at least one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Up to 40 hours of unused sick leave may carry over to the following calendar year, although employers are only required to allow use of up to 40 hours of sick leave per year.
The employee can use the paid sick leave for themselves or a family member such as child, grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, child or parent of a spouse or domestic partner, or sibling (including half, adopted, or step sibling).
Prior to the new law, New York State law already required three days of paid rest. Federally, the United States has does not legally mandate paid sick leave. Rather, companies are subject to follow the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which merely requires unpaid sick leave for up to 12 weeks pending on specific medical situations for the employee or an employee’s immediate family member. In contrast to the new NYC Paid Leave Act, an employee seeking to use the FMLA paid leave must have been employed at their place of work for 12 months as well as worked nearly 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months.
If you qualify for paid leave, but your employer has denied your request for time off, contact an experienced employment law attorney today to help you defend your rights.