On April 2, 2020, the State of New York enacted Senate Bill 7406B, which requires all employers in the state to provide their employees with sick leave. This bill takes effect on January 1, 2021; however, employees must begin to accrue sick time starting on September 30, 2020.
New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act requires employers with five or more employees to provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave every year to recover from mental illness, physical illness, or injury; seek medical treatment; care for a sick family member; or when they or a family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.
Smaller employers in the city must offer sick leave, but it may be unpaid. For employees to be eligible, they must have worked in New York City for more than 80 hours in a calendar year. With the new amendments, this eligibility requirement has been removed.
What are the amendments to Earned Safe and Sick Time?
The amendments that have taken effect as of September 30, 2020, are as follows:
- The requirement for eligible employees to have worked more than 80 hours in the city in a calendar year has been removed.
- Employers with four or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million or more in the previous tax year, must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.
- Most employers with 99 or fewer employees, who have an income of at least $1 million, must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave.
- Employers with 100 or more employees must allow an employee to accrue up to 56 hours of leave per year. Smaller employers can continue to cap the accrual at 40 hours
- Waiting periods for newly hired employees are no longer required, thereby allowing employees to use their leave as they accrue it.
In addition to the amendments above, employers are now required to provide employees each pay period with:
- The amount of leave accrued and used by an employee during a pay period.
- The employee’s total balance of sick and safe leave by September 30, 2020.
This information may be provided to employees on pay statements or in a separate written statement.
Please note: in regard to the pay statement requirement only, employers who have failed to meet the September 30, 2020, deadline, but who work to meet the requirement in good faith, will have until November 30, 2020, to comply.
Employers are also required to provide their employees the updated notices of leave rights upon hire. For those employees who were hired before September 30, 2020, employers must provide the updated notice by October 30, 2020. Employers must also post the notice in a visible area at their business location where all employees can access it.
Most of the modifications align with New York State’s Sick Leave Law (NYSSL), which also became effective on September 30, 2020. See our e-Alert Paid Sick Leave Required for all New York State Employees. However, the amendments to the NYC Earned Sick and Safe also impose additional requirements on New York City employers.
Employers Next Steps
- Provide all your employees with the updated notice of their leave rights.
- Provide employees with the total amount of leave accrued and used every pay period, as well as their total balance of safe and sick leave as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already.
- Review and update your sick leave policies, if applicable.
- If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like our assistance with updating your policy, please email us.
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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.