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New York City Safe and Sick Leave

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Under New York City (NYC) law, employers are required to provide up to 56 hours of paid or unpaid safe or sick leave per year to covered employees, depending on employer size and income. The following chart provides highlights of the law and its requirements.

Which Employers Are Covered?All private employers.
Which Employees Are Covered?Nearly all employees. The law does not cover government employees, certain student workers and certain hourly professionals licensed by the New York State Department of Education. In addition, workers covered by specified collective bargaining agreements are exempt. 
Must an Employer Compensate Leave?Yes, depending on employer size:Businesses with four or fewer employees and an income of less than $1 million must provide up to 40 hours of leave, which may be unpaid.Businesses with four or fewer employees but an income of at least $1 million must provide up to 40 hours of paid leave.Businesses with 5 – 99 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid leave.Businesses with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave.
How Much Leave May an Employee Use?Up to 40 – 56 hours (see above for requirements by employer size) of safe or sick leave in a calendar year, all of which can generally be carried over to the following calendar year if unused.
How Does an Employee Accrue Leave?Employers must provide at least one hour of safe or sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40-56 hours in a calendar year (see above for requirements by employer size).
When Can Employees Begin Accruing and Using Leave?Safe or sick leave begins to accrue at the start of employment, or on the effective date of the local law that created the employee’s right to the leave, whichever is later. Employees may use leave as it accrues, subject to the following exceptions:Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income of $1 million or more are not required to allow their  employees to use paid leave until Jan. 1, 2021.Employers with 100 or more employees are not required to allow their employees to use more than 40 hours of accrued leave until Jan. 1, 2021.
Which Life Events Qualify for Leave?Safe Leave: In general, when the employee or his or her family member has been the victim of domestic violence, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.Sick Leave: In general, the mental or physical illness or injury of an employee or his or her family member.Click here for more detailed information.
Are Employers Required to Provide Employees with Notices Regarding the Law?Yes. Employers generally must:At the start of employment, provide an employee with a written notice of employee rights in English and his or her primary language. For employees already employed when their right to safe and sick time was established by the Sept. 30, 2020, amendments to the law, the notice must be provided within 30 days of Sept. 30, 2020.Post the notice in an accessible location in the workplace.Distribute a written safe or sick leave policy to each employee at the start of employment, within 14 days of the effective date of any changes to the policy, and upon the employee’s request.Each pay period, provide each employee with the following information in writing (can be on a pay stub):The employee’s total balance of safe and sick leave.The amount of safe and sick leave the employee used and accrued during the pay period.
May Employers Require Notice When Employees Use Leave?Yes. An employer may require 7 days of notice before foreseeable safe or sick leave is to begin. For unforeseeable safe or sick leave, an employer may require an employee to provide notice as soon as practicable.
May Employers Require Documentation for Leave?Sometimes. For an absence of more than 3 consecutive work days for safe or sick leave, an employer may require reasonable documentation that the use of such leave was authorized by law. The employer must reimburse the employee for any cost associated with obtaining the required documentation.
Must Employers Retain Records?Yes. Employers generally must retain records for 3 years that show, for each employee:Name, address, phone number, employment start and end date(s), rate of pay, hours worked each week, and whether he or she is exempt from state overtime requirements;The date and time of, and amount paid for, each instance of safe or sick leave used;Changes in material employment terms specific to the employee; andThe date that the Notice of Employee Rights was provided and proof that the employee received it.

Additional requirements and exceptions to the information above may apply. For more information, please contact the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs at 3-1-1 from within NYC or 212-639-9675 outside NYC.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.

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