UPDATED – On October 20, 2020, the New York state updated its webpage and issued initial guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions. For more information about what we know about the law so far, please visit our blog post.
- New York employees begin accruing paid sick leave upon commencement of employment or on September 30, 2020, whichever is later;
- Employees may begin using accrued NY State Sick Leave beginning January 1, 2021;
- Employers with existing paid sick leave or paid time off policies will not be required to provide any additional leave if their policies are at least as generous as the law;
- Payroll records should include the amount of sick leave provided to each employee and should be retained for a six-year period;
- Employers are required to provide a summary of paid sick leave accrued and used within 3 business days upon oral or written request by the employee.
On April 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo amended New York Labor Law by adding Section 196-b to create a mandatory paid sick leave program (NY State Sick Leave) to take effect on September 30, 2020. Employees may begin using accrued NY State Sick Leave beginning January 1, 2021. For more information about what we know so far please visit our blog post.
Which Employers Does the NY State Sick Leave Law Apply to?
The law applies to all employers with any employees working in New York State.
What is the NY State Sick Leave Accrual Rate Beginning September 30, 2020?
Beginning September 30, 2020, any employee working in New York will accrue sick leave at a rate of at least 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (similar to the accrual rate under the New York City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law). Employers may also frontload the full amount of sick leave in a lump sum at the beginning of each year, provided they do not reduce the available amount of sick leave based on the number of hours actually worked by the employee.
An employer is not required to provide any additional sick leave under NY State Sick Leave if the employer has adopted a sick leave policy or time off policy that provides employees with an amount of leave which meets or exceeds the requirements of NY State Sick Leave and satisfies the accrual, carryover, and use requirements of the law.
How does NY State Sick Leave Interact with Local Sick Leave Laws?
The NY State Sick Leave does not preempt other local laws or ordinances enacted in New York. Therefore, employers already covered by the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave or the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave must continue to provide employees with leave that meets or exceeds the requirements of both NY State Sick Leave and local sick leave laws.
What are the Notice Requirements?
The law does not address employer specific notice requirements, however the New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) is expected to issue additional regulations and guidance that may suggest otherwise. Employers are, upon oral or written request, required to provide a summary of the amounts of sick leave accrued and used by the employee in the current calendar year and/or any previous calendar year. Such information must be provided to the employee within three business days of a request.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements?
NY State Sick Leave requires employers to keep records showing the amount of sick leave provided to each employee and such records must be maintained for a minimum of six (6) years. Also note, that as of September 30, 2020, the recordkeeping requirements of New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) will expand to include data related to NY State Sick Leave and employers must maintain the same, or similar, records of the “amount of sick leave provided to each employee” in order to also comply with the WTPA.
Employers should review any existing sick leave policies and determine whether adoption of revisions are necessary to meet the requirements of NY State Sick Leave. Employers should also be on the lookout for additional interpretive guidance and/or regulations from the NY DOL. Employers will also want to ensure that payroll records include the amount of NY State Sick Leave provided to each individual employee and that records are retained for a six-year period.
- New York Paid Sick Leave Webpage
- New York Paid Sick Leave Frequently Asked Questions
- New York Labor Law Section 196-B
- New York Department of Labor
- New York City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law
- Westchester County Earned Sick Leave
- Sequoia Blog: New York Enacts Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved