Sick Leave Laws
As you likely are aware, New York City implemented a new law requiring most employers doing business in the city to provide paid sick leave to employees. The law (as recently amended to include private employers with 5 or more employees) requires employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time in each calendar year. Employees who work at least 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City shall accumulate paid sick time at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Among other requirements, the law permits employees to carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave from one calendar year to the next. However, an employee may not use more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year. Additionally, the law does not require payout of accumulated sick time upon separation of employment unless otherwise required under the employer’s policy or practice. The law goes into effect on April 1, 2014. Employers must provide written notice to employees of their rights under the law at the time of hire and for existing employees, within 30 days of the law’s implementation.
New York City is not the first, and likely will not be the last, jurisdiction to implement paid sick time. Washington D.C.; San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Newark, New Jersey all have passed similar laws or ordinances requiring private employers to provide some level of paid sick time to employees. Employers with operations in these cities should ensure that they comply with the requirements of these laws and that their sick leave policies are up-to-date.