New York State Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

April 7, 2020

On April 2, 2020, the State of New York passed its budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which included important additions to the State’s paid sick leave laws.  As we previously alerted, on March 18, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 virus, New York passed an emergency paid sick leave law. The new state budget enacts a permanent paid sick leave program for working New Yorkers. The program is set to go into effect at the beginning of next year.

Under the new law, workers will accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. This is the same accrual rate utilized by New York City and Westchester county. Employers who employ 100 or more workers must provide at least 56 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with between 5 and 99 employees must provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with four or fewer employees will be exempt from paying sick time, but must guarantee 40 hours of job-protected unpaid sick leave to their employees every year. New York State’s new sick leave program guarantees most employees in the State the right to paid time off from work. The law will work in concert with existing city and municipal paid sick leave laws. If a local paid sick leave program provides greater benefits than the new program, an employee would be entitled to the former. Under the new law, the paid leave obligations of most New York City and Westchester county employers will remain the same, but employers of over 100 employees throughout the State will have to grant their employees at least 16 additional hours of paid sick leave per year. 

Takeaway for Employers

Employers are encouraged to review their existing paid sick leave programs for compliance with the law before it goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

These materials were prepared by Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP prior to their combination with Bond, Schoeneck & King for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advertisement of legal services. Transmission of the information is not confidential and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or an attorney-client privileged communication. You should not act upon any of the information contained in these materials without seeking the advice of your own professional legal counsel.