Employers must provide 56 hours paid sick leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio announces

Employers must provide 56 hours paid sick leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio announces
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that beginning next year on January 1, employers with 100 or more employees will provide employees with at least 56 hours paid sick leave.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall, Mayor de Blasio said paid sick leave was every employee’s right and any employer who denied their workers that will have to go through the city.

“Every New Yorker can take up to 40 hours of additional paid sick leave each year, after state and federal leave. Beginning January 1, employers with 100 or more employees will have 56 hours of paid leave. Four or fewer employees and net income of $1 million, up to 40 hours. Employers of domestic workers, up to 40 hours. Four or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million or less, up to 40 unpaid hours,” read the new amendments.

Under phase one of New York City safe/sick leave law’s amendments which took into effect on September 30, 2020, New York City employers must, allow employees to use safe/sick leave immediately upon accrual, eliminating the 120-day waiting period previously permitted under the NYC Safe/Sick Leave Law, reimburse employees for costs incurred when required by the employer to obtain documentation confirming that the use of safe or sick leave was for an authorized purpose.  

Employers are only permitted to require such documentation after three or more consecutive workday absences.

Employers are also required to list on employees’ paystubs (or any document issued each pay period) the amounts of accrued and used safe/sick leave, and the total balance of accrued safe/sick leave. Employers may be subject to civil penalties of up to $50 for each employee who is not given appropriate notice each pay period. 

For this requirement only, employers that could not implement the documentation requirement by September 30, 2020, but were working in good faith to do so, had until November 30, 2020 to ensure compliance without penalty.

Under phase two of New York City sick/safe leave law’s amendments, which takes into effect on January 1, 2021, 100+ employees must provide 56 hours (7 days) of annual paid safe/sick leave. This expands employees’ paid safe/sick leave allotment by 16 hours (2 days) to match the New York Paid Sick Leave Law entitlement.

Five to 99 employees must provide 40 hours (5 days) of annual paid safe/sick leave. This is not a change to the current law.

Four or less employees and a net income of $1 million or more in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours (5 days) of annual paid safe/sick leave. This expands the paid safe/sick leave to match the New York Paid Sick Leave Law entitlement (before the amendments, employers with less than 4 or less employees were only required to provide up to 40 hours (5 days) of unpaid safe/sick leave regardless of the employer’s net income).

Four or less employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours (5 days) of unpaid job-protected paid safe/sick leave each calendar year. This is not a change to the current law.