Paid Sick Leave In New York State
Author: David DeToffol
Uploaded: Friday, September 10, 2021, 2:45 PM
Starting in 2021 employees are eligible for New York Paid Sick Leave law, which covers all private sector employees in New York State. Some key provisions are below:
Amount: The amount of paid leave is based on the size of the employer, as follows:
• Employers with 1 to 4 employees and net income of $1 million or less must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year;
• Employers with 1 to 4 employees and net income of more than $1 million, and employers with 5 to 99 employees (regardless of net income) must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year;
• Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
Accrual: Employers may either frontload the maximum annual sick leave entitlement or accrue the leave at a rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers who opt for the accrual method must give accrual credit for all hours worked from September 30, 2020. There is no post-hire waiting period for accrual of, or use of accrued, paid sick time.
Carryover: Employers must permit carryover of unused paid sick leave at the end of a calendar year, but are not required to permit the use of more than the annual maximum. For those employers who use the accrual method for paid leave, carryover simply permits employees to have paid sick leave available for use at the beginning of a calendar year – it does not increase the maximum amount of leave for a calendar year. Carryover has no practical effect for employers who frontload paid sick leave, as the full amount is available on January 1.
Pay Rate and Leave Increments: Employees must be paid their normal rate of pay for paid leave. Employers may require employee use of leave in minimum increments, but may not set the minimum increment at more than 4 hours.
No Payout at Separation: Employers are not required to pay employees for unused sick leave upon an employee’s voluntary or involuntary separation from employment.
Permissible Uses: Employees can use paid sick leave for a wide array of purposes, including diagnosis, care or treatment (or need for diagnosis or preventive care) of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of the employee or a family member for whom the employee provides care or assistance. Paid safe leave also is permissible for absences due to domestic violence, to enroll children in a new school or to take other actions necessary to ensure the health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family.
No Retaliation: Retaliation is prohibited against employees exercising rights to use sick leave and employees returning from leave must be restored to their previous position occupied prior to taking leave.
Recordkeeping: Employers must keep payroll records for 6 years, including the amount of sick leave accrued and used by each employee on a weekly basis. Employers must, within 3 days of the request of an employee, provide a summary of the sick leave accrued and used by an employee in the current and any prior calendar year. Employers who provide generally-applicable paid time off (PTO) as opposed to sick time should separately track paid sick leave time to ensure compliance.