NYC Earned Sick Time Act May Be Expanding

Mayor Bill de Blasio and incoming Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that the New York City Council will look to expand the Earned Sick Time Act within the year.

According to the Mayor, the updated law would: (i) protect an additional 500,000 City employees, including those in the manufacturing sector, by expanding the paid leave requirement to employers with 5 or more employees starting in April 2014; (ii) expand the definition of family members so that employees could use sick leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren and siblings; and (iii) allow employees to use sick time as they accrue it rather than wait 120 days after they started working.

The original law, which was passed mid-2013, joined other municipalities, including San Francisco, Washington D.C., Portland, Seattle and the State of Connecticut, in requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave for employees. The NYC Earned Sick Time Act’s goal was to ultimately provide paid sick time to New Yorkers who, without the act, would have no access to paid sick time when they or their family members are ill. Furthermore, the law strived to ensure that workers—even in the smallest of businesses—cannot be fired for taking a sick day.

The expansion, which shares the exact same goal as the original, however, it now hopes to reach even more workers, an expected 500,000 specifically. De Blasio stated, “We talked a lot about the tale of two cities; our goal is to create one city, where everyone can rise together, and this is one of the steps we have to take to make that possible.” “The time to act is now.”

Employment law is a very complex, intricate, and ever-changing are of law. If you are an employee and have questions about your status and/or rights under the Earned Sick Time Act, contact an experienced employment attorney. A skilled attorney will help afford you the representation you deserve and ensure your legal rights are protected.

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