In New York State, there is no requirement for employers to provide sick day benefits to employees (either paid or unpaid). However, Section 195.5 of the New York Labor Law states: “Every employer shall notify his employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer’s policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours.”
If an employer does not have a written policy, the oral policy (or past practice) may be enforced – if the terms of the policy can be confirmed through an investigation. Thus, if you, as the employer allowed sick days for one employee, you probably will have to offer it to all. Violators of § 195.5 are subject to civil penalty.
In New York City, specifically, the rule is a little more strict. In New York City, employers with more than five (5) employees hired more than 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City must comply with the Paid Sick Leave Law. In New York City, employees that work more than 80 hours in a calendar year and are in one of the following categories are covered by Paid Sick Leave:
- Full-time employees
- Part-time employees
- Temporary employees
- Per diem and “on call” employees
- Transitional jobs program employees
- Undocumented employees
- Employees who are family members but not owners
- Employees who live outside of New York City but work in New York City
- Owners who are considered employees under the New York Labor Law (NYLL)
The amount of sick leave that must be given is 40 hours per calendar year. These can be carried-over, but an employee can only use 40 hours per calendar year. Employees accrue the 40 hours of sick leave of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Sick leave can be used 120 days after employment begins.
Sick leave can be used for the following reasons:
- The employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- The employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- The employee’s need for preventive medical care
- The employee’s elective surgery, including organ donations
- Care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of an illness, injury, or health condition, or who needs preventive medical care
- Care of a family member who has elective surgery, including organ donations
- Closure of employee’s workplace due to a public health emergency (as declared by the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or the Mayor)
- The employee’s need to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed due to a public health emergency
Have a question about your New York City business? Cari and her team are here to help. Please reach out if you want to set-up a consultation.
"This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction before relying on the information in this blog."