Sick Leave Policy May Not Comply with New York’s New Law
January 19, 2015
NYC Employers: Does Your Sick Leave Policy Comply With the New Law?On April 1, 2014, the New York City Earned Sick Time Act took effect for businesses conducting operations in the five boroughs of New York City:
|Number of Employees||Amount of Sick Leave per Calendar Year||Paid or Unpaid Sick Leave||Rate of Pay|
|5 or more Must work 80+ hours a calendar year*||Up to 40 hours||Paid||Regular hourly rate but no less than $8 per hour (minimum wage)|
|1-4 Must work 80+ hours a calendar year||Up to 40 hours||Unpaid||Not Applicable|
|1 or more domestic workers Must work 80+ hours per calendar year and have been employed by the same employer at least 1 year||2 days||Paid||Regular hourly rate but no less than $8 per hour (minimum wage)|
They detail a number of requirements employers must address in their written sick leave policies, including:
- Minimum daily increment: Employers may set a minimum amount of sick leave that employees can use in a day, provided that it does not exceed four hours.
- Advance notice requirement: Employers may require workers to provide up to seven days of advance notice, in writing, of their need to use sick leave for foreseeable reasons. If the need for sick leave is unforeseeable, the employer may require an employee to give notice as soon as practicable.
- Medical documentation requirement: Employers may require an employee to provide documentation from a licensed health care provider only after an employee takes more than three consecutive sick days and must allow workers seven days to produce such documentation, which can confirm the need for the amount of sick leave used; and that sick leave was used for an authorized purpose under the law. Written sick leave policies must also address the consequences for failing to provide medical documentation when requested.
- Employee verification requirement. Employers may require employees to confirm that they used sick leave for one of the reasons articulated under the Paid Sick Leave Law. Procedures for employee verification, including any required form, must be included in their written sick leave policy.
- Front-loading: Employers may elect to front-load sick leave so that all employees start the employer’s calendar year with 40 hours of sick leave, so long as the procedures must be detailed in their written sick leave policy.
- Payout of unused sick leave: Employers may pay out up to 40 hours of unused sick leave at the end of the employer’s calendar year, only if the employer front-loads 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of the new calendar year. Employers may also pay out unused sick leave upon the end of an employee’s employment.
- Donation of unused sick leave: Employers who allow employees to donate unused sick leave to other workers must detail the procedures for doing so in their written sick leave policies.