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Mandatory Paid Sick Leave is Coming to NYC

On May 17, 2013 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

By Scott J. Wenner

New Yorkers are set to pick their first new Mayor in 12 years this November and the field of contenders, which includes the Speaker of the City Council, is wide open.  In a burst of election year spirit the City Council has voted to enact the second major law in as many months that has been at the top of the “must have” list of the City’s powerful unions and community interest groups: mandatory paid sick leave for employers with more than 15 employees, and mandatory unpaid sick leave for the rest.  The first enactment, prohibiting employment decisions based on the unemployment status of an applicant – see HERE – became law over a mayoral veto in March.  While Mayor Bloomberg is expected to veto this measure as well, the 45 to 3 margin with which it passed assures its eventual passage – especially with the election in plain view.  In addition, a third giveaway to the unions – a ban on credit checks by most employers, retailers included – is being readied for a possible vote this year.

For the details of this major new legislation that touches all NYC employers, please see our new Alert, which is available HERE.  The essentials are:

  • Effective Dates:

– April 1 2014: five days paid sick leave for employers of more than 20, and five days unpaid leave for all others, must begin to accrue; compliance with recordkeeping and notice provisions starts.
– October 1, 2015: paid sick leave threshold lowered, covering employers of 15 employees.

  • Accrual Rate: One-hour leave per 30 hours worked.
  • Eligibility to Use: after four months.
  • Carryover Rights: Up to 40 hours can be carried over to next year; no compensation for accrued unused paid leave at termination.
  • Permitted Purposes: personal or family medical condition, diagnosis or treatment.
  • Enforcement: NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • Penalties: Triple lost wages plus civil penalties of up to $1,000.
  • Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements: mandatory notice of rights upon hire; recordkeeping for two years.
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