If you haven’t heard the New York State Sick Leave Law (NYSSL) was recently passed. While it went into effect on September 30, 2020, employees are not entitled to use NYSSL until January 1, 2021. This means employers planning to select an accrual method must be prepared to start tracking accrual, provide employees information upon request regarding ther accrual, and be prepared to carry over accrued time for employee use beginning January 2021.
Therefore, it is important for both employers and employees to know what is expected of them, respectively.
The New York State Sick Leave law requires that all NYS employers must provide sick leave to their employees. The amount of leave they must provides varies based on total employee headcount and the employer’s income level.
The leave requirements are as follows:
Employers can also elect to provide additional sick time above and beyond what the law requires should they choose to.
It’s also important to note that if an employer already has a sick leave policy in place that meets or exceeds NYSSL, that the employer is not required to provide their employees with additional sick leave. They must however, ensure that their policy meets the new accrual, carryover, and use requirements of the law.
The NYSSL can be used in the following circumstances:
The term “ family member” may include an employee’s child (including biological, adopted, foster, or legal ward), spouse, domestic partner, parent (inlcuding biological, foster, stepparent, or adoptive parent), sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or the child or parent of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner.
The law states that NYSSL will accrue at a rate of one hour per every 30 hours worked by the employee. The exception to this is if the employer elects to frontload all sick time at the beginning of each year. Employers are permitted to set a (reasonable) minimum increment for use by employees, but it cannot exceed four hours.
Any unused sick leave must be carried over to the following calendar year, with some limitations on the use. For example, an employer with fewer than 100 employees may limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours per calendar year; an employer with 100 or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to 56 hours per calendar year. Employers are not required to pay employees for unused sick leave upon separation from employment, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Employees are permitted to request in writing or verbally for their employer to provide them with a summary of the amount of sick leave accrued and used by the employee. If requested, the employer must provide within 3 business days of the request.
Employers may not require employees to disclose any confidential information in verifying the need for NYSSL. As employers must also not discriminate or retaliate against any employee for exercising the right to request or use sick leave. Under NYSSL, any employee who returns from sick leave must be restored to the position of employment held by their employee prior to taking any sick leave taken, with the same pay and other terms and original conditions of employment.
If you have questions regarding the NYSSL or for assistance with any other employment matter, contact us today at 516-741-0300 and learn how we can help.