Recently, New York City’s landmark paid sick time law, the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA), was amended so that workers have even more rights under the law. A Better Balance was proud to help draft and negotiate the law when it originally passed in 2013, and we were proud to have helped improve the law—including testifying before the New York City Council—through these recent amendments. The changes in NYC’s ESSTA reflect necessary updates to align with New York State’s sick time law, which will provide workers throughout the state with sick time they can use starting January 1, 2021 but also contains many additional helpful clarifications that will help workers throughout New York City.
In early March as COVID-19 was just beginning to spread in the U.S., we listed the 7 states and 11 cities and counties that give workers access to paid sick time that can be used when their workplace or child’s school or place of care is closed for a public health emergency. Since then, and as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, an increasing number of jurisdictions have enacted emergency paid sick time laws. A Better Balance is tracking these emergency sick time developments nationwide.
Today marks a historic victory for workers and local democracy in the Twin Cities: Minnesota’s Supreme Court —the highest court in the state—affirmed the city’s authority to give workers the opportunity to earn paid sick time. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that workers are able to take time off to care for their health and that of their loved ones without losing wages, which is exactly what the paid sick time law allows for.
Working people in the South have some of the fewest legal protections for their health and economic security in the country. For example, Southern workers are less likely to have access to paid leave than those in other regions. While recent federal legislation provides some workers with critical new rights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, major gaps remain, and Southern lawmakers must act to fill those gaps.
On April 7, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that will require private employers with 500 or more employees to provide public health emergency leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were proud to work with Supervisor Gordon Mar and partners in California, including Jobs with Justice San Francisco and Legal Aid at Work, on this important measure, and we congratulate them on the ordinance’s successful passage. Once the Mayor signs the bill, as expected, it will take effect.
If you have to take time off work sick or your workplace closes down, what are your legal rights? If your child’s school is closed, can you stay home? We're updating this page with all the information you need to know about ongoing action and your existing legal rights around paid sick time and paid family and medical leave.
In the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the law’s implementation could not be more timely or critical. In addition to preventive care and personal/family illness or medical needs, Pittsburgh's paid sick leave law, like several others, allows workers to use sick time if: their workplace is closed by a public health official (due to a public health emergency); they need to care for their child if the child's school or care provider is closed for the same reason.
With the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), schools and businesses across the globe have closed their doors with the hope that keeping children and workers at home will help contain the outbreak. It is is very possible that schools and businesses in the U.S. will close in the coming weeks. Fortunately for workers in certain jurisdictions, they are eligible for paid sick time when their workplace or child’s school or place of care is closed for a public health emergency.
Eleven states guarantee paid sick time for yourself or to stay home with a sick family member: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington State, as well as D.C. Dozens of localities also guarantee paid sick time, including New York City, Westchester County, and several cities in California and Washington State—all areas highly affected by Coronavirus.
In a victory for millions of workers and families, a New York State Court recently upheld New York City’s Fair Workweek law—a law ensuring low wage workers are protected from abusive, unpredictable scheduling practices that make it difficult to work and care for a family, in part by requiring employers to give their workers sufficient notice of their schedules.