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NYS Sick Leave Law Reminder

News outlets throughout New York State have been reporting on the implementation of the Paid Sick Leave law that was created in a three-way agreement with the Governor and New York State Legislature in March of this year. Much of the reporting has been misleading leaving employees and employers with the impression that the benefits of the law should already be available to eligible employees. While this isn’t the case it’s important that everyone understand how the law will effect them in the coming months.

Every employer in NYS will be required to provide time off for legitimate “sick” events. The number of employees and net income from the previous year will determine whether the time off is paid, and how many days off employees will be eligible for annually. Sick leave time accrual will begin on September 30, 2020 – for every 30 hours worked an employee will earn one hour of leave.

Sick leave benefits can begin to be used by employees on January 1, 2021. The use of earned leave can apply to 4 hour increments at least. It can be used for the mental or physical illness of an employee, or to care for an employee’s family member. Employers must pay employees their “regular” wage for sick leave. Employees who don’t use their accrued time off will be able to roll over that earned time until the next year.

Employers who already offer paid time off that exceeds the laws parameters will not be required to change their policies. However, it’s important every employer have an updated and thorough written policy in place. 

Please contact us if you need assistance developing a policy, or understanding the nuance of the law. 

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