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New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act – Paid Sick Leave: What Employers Need To Know

An employer with 5 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of sick leave every calendar year (January 1st to December 31st  ). Sick leave is accrued at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year.  An employee begins to accrue sick leave on January 1st or if you are employed after January 1st on your first day of employment in that year.  An employee can begin to use sick leave, only if one has accrued enough hours or at minimum 120 days after one begins employment.

An employee can use sick leave when:

  • One has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs to get a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of one’s medical illness, injury or condition, or needs to get preventive medical care.
  • One must care for a family member* who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, or who needs preventive medical care.
  • The employer’s business closes due to a public health emergency or an employee needs to care for a child whose school or child care provider closed due to a public health emergency.

*Family Members:
The law recognizes the following as family members:

Child, Grandchild, Spouse, Domestic Partner, Parent, Grandparent, and the Child or Parent of an employee’s Spouse or Domestic Partner, Sibling (including half, adopted or step sibling).

Advance Notice:
If the need for sick time is foreseeable, an Employer can require up to 7 days advance notice of one’s intention to use sick leave.  If the need is unforeseeable, an employer will require notice as soon as practicable.

An employer can require documentation from a licensed health care provider if an employee uses more than 3 consecutive workdays as sick leave.

Unused Sick Leave:
Up to 40 hours of unused sick leave can be carried over to the next calendar year. However, an employer can only allow up to 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year.

An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for:

  • Requesting and using sick leave.
  • Filing a complaint for alleged violations of the law with the DCA.

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