On April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed legislation establishing the right to paid leave for New Yorkers. New York’s paid sick leave law requires employers with five or more employees or net income of more than $1 million to provide paid sick leave to employees and for employers with fewer than five employees and a net income of $1 million or less to provide unpaid sick leave to employees.
This new law is in addition to the New York State provisions already in effect providing emergency paid sick time due to COVID-19. This sick leave is permanent and has nothing to do with COVID-19 or the new COVID-19 paid sick leave.
On September 30, 2020, covered employees in New York State began to accrue leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. On January 1, 2021, employees may start using accrued leave.
The new permanent paid sick leave program is contained in an addition to the New York State Labor Law, Section 196-b.
- Employers with four or fewer employees in any calendar year must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave in each calendar year.
- An employer with four or fewer employees who has a net income greater than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide each employee with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in a calendar year. For employers with between 5 and 99 employees in any calendar year, each employee must be provided with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year.
- For employers with 100 or more employees in any calendar year, each employee must be provided with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year.
“Sick leave” is given a broad deﬁnition and includes things like caring for a family member, domestic violence situations, stalking situations, human trafﬁcking situations and sexual offense situations. Similarly, “family member” is given a broad interpretation to include an employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, and also the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner. Additionally, an employee must receive compensation at his or her regular rate of pay during paid sick leave (or the applicable minimum wage if it is greater).
An employee’s unused sick leave must be carried over to the following calendar year, but an employer with fewer than 100 employees can still limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours per calendar year. An employer is not required to pay an employee for unused sick leave upon such employee’s termination, resignation, retirement or other separation from employment. An employee using this new sick leave is entitled to be restored to his or her job when the sick leave period ends.
You can also learn more at https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-paid-sick-leave