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CLIENT ALERT: The New York City Earned Sick Time Act

March 12, 2014
Aliza Herzberg and Lori Barnea

The New York City Council recently passed an amendment to the New York City Earned Sick Time Act (the “Act”).  As noted in our earlier client alert, the Act requires most New York City employers to provide paid or unpaid sick leave to employees working in New York City. 

Amendments to the Original Act Include the Following:

  • Effective April 1, 2014, employers with 5 or more employees must provide 5 paid sick days to all of its employees; for employers with fewer than 5 employees, the sick leave can be unpaid.  Initially, employers of 15-20 employees were not required to offer paid sick time under the Act until October 2015 and employers with less than 15 employees were not required to provide paid sick time at all under the Act.
  • Employers in the manufacturing sector are no longer exempted from the Act and must now provide sick leave to their employees.
  • There is a six-month grace period during which civil penalties will not be issued to employers with 5-20 employees, or for employers in the manufacturing sector.
  • Grandparents, grandchildren and siblings are now included in the definition of family member; therefore employees are permitted to take sick time for those family members.  Initially, the sick time was only for employees’ parents, spouses or children.
  • Employers must maintain 3 years of records of sick time taken under the Act, rather than 2 years.
  • Employees may file a complaint against an employer for up to 2 years after the date of an alleged violation, rather than the initial time period of 270 days after an alleged violation.
  • Notice of employees’ rights under the Act must be issued to all employees by May 1, 2014 and the notice of rights poster must be posted conspicuously.  Official notice posters have not yet been issued, but are likely to be issued shortly before April 1, 2014.

In order to avoid liability, employers with employees in New York City should ensure that their policies and procedures comply with the new paid and unpaid sick leave requirements.

For more information regarding the amended Act, including a review of your existing leave policies, or on any other employment matter, please contact the Olshan attorney with whom you regularly work or either of the attorneys listed below.

This publication is issued by Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.  To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that unless specifically indicated otherwise, any tax advice contained in this publication was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax-related matter addressed herein.  In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising.
Copyright © 2014 Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP.  All Rights Reserved.

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