New York established the right of employees to paid sick leave within the state in 2020. Any business with 5 or more employees or over $1 million in net income must provide their employees with paid sick leave. Businesses with $1 million dollars or less in net income with 4 or fewer employees must provide their employees with unpaid sick leave.
How Much Sick Leave Is an Employee Entitled to?
If a company has 4 or fewer employees, each employee is entitled to 40 hours of sick leave. Whether that leave is paid or unpaid depends on whether your business makes more or less than $1 million dollars in annual net income. If your company makes more than $1 million dollars in net income, you are entitled to 40 hours of paid sick leave. If your company makes $1 million dollars or less in net income, you are entitled to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.
If your company has 5 to 99 employees, you are entitled to 40 hours of paid sick leave. If your company has 100 or more employees, you are entitled to 56 hours of paid sick leave. All of these allocations are made for the calendar year.
How is Sick Leave Obtained?
This sick leave can be either accrued at 1 hour per 30 hours worked or provided in full at the start of each calendar year. If an employer grants sick leave upfront, they cannot later reduce it if the employee works less.
Who is Entitled to Sick Leave?
All private-sector employees in New York are covered by this regulation, regardless of industry, occupation, part-time status, and overtime exempt status. Federal, state, and local government employees are NOT covered by this regulation, but employees of charter schools, private schools, and not-for-profit corporations are.
Can an Employee’s Sick Leave be Restricted?
Employers are permitted to limit the amount of sick leave an employee can take, but it may not be less than the amount guaranteed to the employee under the New York sick leave regulation. This means that for employers with 5-99 employees, it cannot be less than 40 hours, and for employers with 100 or more employees, it cannot be less than 56 hours.
How Will an Employee Get Paid for Sick Leave?
Employees must be paid the applicable minimum wage or their normal rate, whichever is greater. Employers are not permitted to lower your rate of pay for sick leave. Additionally, employers cannot retaliate against an employee in any way for using their sick leave. Employees must be restored to their position of employment as it had been before any sick leave was taken.
Does an employer based outside of New York City have to provide safe and sick leave to employees who work in New York City?
Yes. Employers located outside New York City must provide safe and sick leave to employees who work in New York City.
Does this apply to contractors, too?
This law applies only to employees. Independent contractors who do not meet the definition of an employee under New York State Labor Law.
For additional information regarding New York paid sick leave requirements and labor laws you can visit the frequently asked questions page on the NYC website here: https://www.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/about/PaidSickLeave-FAQs.pdf