What Is New York’s Sick Leave Law?
The new sick leave law in New York requires businesses with five or more employees or net income of more than $1 million to provide paid sick leave for employees. When the law passed in April, 2020, it was in addition to the provisions already in place for emergency paid sick time due to COVID-19.
Sick leave time began accruing under the new law in September 30, 2020. However, application of the law for taking sick leaves went into effect on January 1, 2021. The law requires employers of all sizes to allow employees time off for sick leave.
How the Sick Leave Law in New York Applies to Businesses
This law divides businesses into three categories:
For companies with zero to four employees where the business has a net income of $1 million or less, the employer must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year.
If net income is greater than $1 million, the employer must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
Employers with five to ninety-nine employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
Details about How Sick Leave Works
Employers must pay for sick leaves at the rate of no less than one hour for every thirty hours worked.. No private-sector industry is exempt. Sick leave applies regardless of industry, occupation, part-time status or overtime exempt status.
Sick leave is for the employee or for when the employee provides care for a family member due to:
- Examples of illness include physical illness, mental illness, injury or a health condition regardless of whether it has been diagnosed or requires medical care at the time of the leave. It could also be time off for the diagnosis, care or treatment of an injury, physical illness, health condition of mental illness or for preventative care of these issues.
- Safety. When the employee or an employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence, sick leave may apply. Domestic violence includes a family offense, sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking. The time off could be for obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center or other services program. It could also be to plan, safely relocate or take actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family member. The leave time would also cover time spent discussing matters with an attorney or social services provider, filing a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement, enrolling children in a new school or any other actions directly related to safety.
Employers must pay employees their normal rate of pay or the applicable minimum wage rate, whichever is greater.