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New York City Set to Expand Paid Sick Leave Law

We previously reported that New York City passed a law, scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2014, requiring employers with 20 or more employees to provide at least 5 paid sick days to their employees.

Now, Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have announced that they are seeking to expand the law to include employers with 5 or more employees. They also seek to amend the law to expand the definition of family members so that employees could use sick leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren and siblings. In addition, the amendment will allow employees to use sick time as they accrue it rather than wait 120 days after they started working.

The amendment to the law is expected to pass easily. Obviously, this will have a significant effect on small businesses in New York City.

There are two other aspects of the law that employers should be aware of. First, an employer is not required to provide additional paid sick time if the employer already has a paid leave policy – such as vacation, personal day or PTO – that provides an employee with enough paid leave to meet the accrual requirements, and that allows such paid leave to be used "for the same purposes and under the same conditions as paid sick leave."

Second, employees must receive notice of their rights under the law at the start of their employment, and the notice must also be conspicuously posted at the employer's place of business. The content of these notices must include not only the substantive requirements for paid sick time, but also must include non-retaliation information and the right to file an administrative complaint.

Contact an attorney from Vishnick McGovern Milizio's Employment Law practice group for more information or if you have any questions about this new law.