Paid Sick Leave Law

Under New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL), which is enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), any employer with five or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while those with four or less employees are required to only provide sick leave.  The law covers all employees who work more than eighty hours per calendar year and either live or work in New York City. Attending client meetings in New York City constitutes “working in New York City.” This law covers workers that are:

  • Full-time;
  • Part-time;
  • Temporary (Temp);
  • Per diem;
  • Transitional;
  • Undocumented; and
  • Some individual’s covered under a collective bargaining agreement.

Every year, an employer must provide his or her employees with up to forty hours of sick leave time. This means that an employee must accrue at least one hour of sick leave for every thirty hours that he or she has worked. In addition, an employee is entitled to carry over up to forty hours of unused sick leave.

Requesting a Doctor’s Note From An Employee During Sick Leave Time


According to Federal Law, an employer cannot require his or her employee to provide documentation until the employee has been out for more than three consecutive workdays. If an employer then requires documentation it cannot specify anything related to the employee’s illness. In addition, an employee has a minimum of seven days from the date of returning to work to provide an employer with documentation from a health care provider. Additionally, there must be a uniform application of all policies relating to sick leave.  For instance, an employer is not allowed to require one employee to bring in a doctors note every time he or she is sick, while other employees are not asked to provide a note when they are out sick.  Furthermore, if a person cannot provide a doctors note, he or she may sign a written statement indicating that the absences were in accordance with the PSLL.

Notice for an Absence


An employer can require up to seven days advance notice for a sick leave absence that an employee is aware of so long as an employee was provided with a formal written policy regarding this requirement.  In the event of unforeseeable absences, an employer can require an employee to provide notice as soon as reasonably possible so long as an employee was provided with a formal written policy regarding this requirement. It is also worth mentioning that all employee health information must be kept confidential unless required by law.

If you have concerns regarding employment law issues, contact the New York employment law attorney Steven Mitchell Sack to protect your rights. Call Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” at (917) 371-8000 or email him at

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