New York City to Require Employers to Provide Paid Sick Time

The New York City Council has agreed on legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick time. Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s vow to veto the bill, there appears to be enough support to override a veto.

Beginning in April 2014, businesses with 20 or more employees would have to provide five paid sick days for mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or medical care or treatment to employees or employees’ children, spouses, parents, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, domestic partners, children of domestic partners, mothers of domestic partners and fathers of domestic partners. Employers with 15 or more employees would have to do the same by October 2015. All other employers would have to provide five unpaid sick days per year.

Under the legislation, employees would be entitled to accrue one hour of paid sick time for every thirty hours of work, up to a maximum of forty hours of paid sick time each calendar year. Employees must be compensated at their regular rate of pay for accrued sick days. Employers will be permitted to require employees to provide reasonable notice of sick time use, and for an absence of more than three consecutive works days an employer may require supporting documentation. Businesses may continue to provide sick time under existing policies and practices provided employees receive at least as much protection as under the sick time bill.

The bill also contains certain exceptions for new businesses as well as non-retaliation, recordkeeping and notice and posting requirements with which employers should familiarize themselves. A final vote is expected later in April.

We will continue to monitor New York City’s sick time bill. For more information on the legislation and implementing lawful workplace policies, please contact Douglas E. Solomon, Esq., dsolomon@nullgenovaburns.com, or Douglas J. Klein, Esq., dklein@nullgenovaburns.com in our Labor Law Practice Group.