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New York State Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law



New York state has enacted a sick leave law that, depending on their size, requires employers to provide between 40 and 56 hours of paid leave per year for reasons relating to the health and safety of the employee or the employee’s family. Employers with fewer than five employees and an annual income no greater than $1 million may satisfy the law’s leave requirement by providing unpaid leave of 40 hours annually.

Employees begin accruing leave on Sept. 30, 2020, but may not use the leave until Jan. 1, 2021. Leave is accrued at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked; the law contains frontloading and carryover provisions. 

Employers with leave policies that equal or exceed the requirements of the sick leave law need not provide additional leave to their employees. The sick leave law does not affect municipal leave laws in effect on Sept. 30, 2020, and cities with populations of at least 1 million may enact laws that meet or exceed the requirements of the new law.

Employers must restore employees to their former positions when they return from leave, and employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees exercising their right to leave. The state department of labor has issued FAQs on a website dedicated to the law.

Employers should review their leave policies to ensure compliance with the new law. Employers are also advised to watch for regulations from the New York Labor Commissioner, as they may include additional details and requirements about the law.

For more information on the New York state paid sick leave law, read this HR Compliance Bulletin and contact HANYS Benefit Services by email or by calling (800) 388-1963.


This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2020 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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