Paid Leave in New York
Vacations/Holidays/Personal Days/Sick Leave
N.Y.S. employers are not required to provide their employees with paid holidays, vacations, personal days or sick leave (except.as discussed more fully below). Under Section 195 of the N.Y.S. Labor Law, employers must notify their employees either individually in writing or by public posting of the terms and conditions of the employer’s policies concerning sick leave, vacations, personal leave, holidays and work hours. An employer's failure to comply with the Section 195 notice requirement may prevent the employer from denying these benefits to their employees where there is a disagreement or ambiguity as to the terms of the policy in question.
Paid Family Leave
Effective January 1, 2018, New York State’s paid family leave program will provide employees with wage replacement during time away from their job in order to bond with a child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service. The law is intended to supplement the existing N.Y.S. short-term disability law, and not to create a separate leave right. Employees are also entitled to be reinstated to their job when their leave ends, as well as the continuation of their health insurance.
To be eligible for paid family leave, employees must have been employed full-time for 26 weeks or part-time for 175 days by a covered employer, at the time they apply for benefits.
Employees eligible for paid family leave include:
- New parents during the first 12 months following the birth or adoption of a child;
- Employees caring for a sick child, parent, or grandparent;
- Employees with a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent who has been notified of an order of active military duty;
- Non-citizens who are covered by an employer for the mandatory 26-week period.
To be eligible, employees must present certification from a health care provider treating the family member. For adoption and foster care of child, documentation is also required.
Coverage: The program is included under an employer’s disability policy that all private employers must carry, and will be fully funded by employees through payroll deductions—beginning in July 2017. The program is mandatory for all private employers, and public employers may opt-in to the program.
Phase-in Schedule: The new policy will be phased in over four years, beginning January 1, 2018. When fully phased-in, employees will be eligible to receive 67 percent of their salary during their 12 weeks of leave. If their weekly earnings are greater than the State average weekly wage, their earnings during their leave period will be capped at 67 percent of the state average weekly wage level.
New York City Paid Sick Leave
Under New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law, employers who employ workers within the City must give these employees sick leave (whether or not the employer is located in N.Y.C.), which they can use for the care and treatment of either themselves or an eligible “family member” (as defined therein). Employers with 5 or more employees who are hired to work more than 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City must provide paid sick leave. Employers with less than 5 employees must provide unpaid sick leave. Workers protected by this law include undocumented workers (workers without legal immigration status) and domestic workers (nannies and housekeepers).
Covered employees may be entitled to receive up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for their own illness and other “acceptable reasons” per calendar year for any absence due to: the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; a need for medical diagnosis or treatment or “preventive medical care”; to care for a covered “family member” who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment, or who needs preventive medical care; closure of the employer’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency; and to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
If an employee’s need is foreseeable, the employee is required to provide seven (7) days’ advance notice of the employee’s need to use his/her accrued sick leave. If an employee’s need is not foreseeable, the employee is required to provide notice as soon as practicable under the circumstances. Employees may carry over accrued, unused sick leave from one calendar year to the next, but may not use more 40 hours of sick leave in a calendar year. Employees must use a minimum of four (4) hours of accrued sick leave per day. Employers are not required to pay employees for accrued but unused sick leave time upon the termination of their employment for any reason.
If you have any questions or need more information concerning your specific wage and hour issues, please call us at (914) 949-2700 or use our email form to get in touch with New York Labor and Employment Attorneys.