Effective April 1, 2014, employers in New York City employing 20 or more employees must give each employee one hour of paid sick leave for every 30-hour period that employee works. The ESTA caps the sick leave grant at 40 hours (five work days) per calendar year.
Effective October 1, 2015, employers in New York City employing 15 to 19 employees must follow the same requirements set forth above: 1 hour of paid sick time per every 30 hours worked by each employee, up to 40 hours per calendar year. Small businesses with 15 or more employees must pay attention to this mandate.
Employees may take paid sick time for the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or need for diagnosis, care or treatment of any of these instances, or the need for preventative care; the same for a member of the employee’s family; and closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a health emergency, or the employee’s need to provide care for a child who school or daycare has been closed by order of a public official due to a health emergency.
An employer is not required to pay unused paid sick time upon an employee’s termination, whether voluntary or involuntary. Employers who have more generous paid sick time policies are not required to modify them. Of course, ESTA prohibits employers from retaliating (firing, demoting, suspending, reducing hours, etc.) for requesting or taking paid sick leave.
Businesses in New York must be prepared to implement this policy soon. While the some small businesses have approximately two years to adjust their practice, other businesses will have to reflect this change by next April. This involves proper budgeting, accounting, record-keeping, and implementing the change into employee handbooks and manuals.
If you have questions about business or other corporate matters, please contact Benjamin S. Thompson or any member of the Thompson Bukher Business & Corporate Practice at (212) 920-6050.
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