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Overview of Paid Sick Time Laws in the United States:
New York City, NY

Updated on October 26, 2018

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New York City, NY
Who is covered? Workers who have worked within NYC for more than 80 hours in a calendar year are covered. Domestic workers will receive some paid sick time. Work-study students, certain hourly speech/physical/occupational therapists, independent contractors, and government employees are exempted.
Can sick time be used to care for loved ones? Yes: children; spouses; registered domestic partners; parents; grandchildren; grandparents; siblings; and the children or parents of a spouse or domestic partner. Beginning on May 5, 2018, sick time can also be used to care for any other individual whose close association with the worker is the equivalent of a family relationship.
How is “child” defined? Biological, adopted, or foster children, legal wards, or the child of a worker standing in loco parentis to the child
Can sick time be used for specific “safe time” purposes (related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking)? Yes, beginning on May 5, 2018, when the worker or the worker’s family member is the victim
Can sick time be used under the law to bond with a new child and/or deal with a family member’s death? Note: It is possible that other laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act or a state equivalent, could provide eligible workers with unpaid leave for these purposes. No
Can sick time be used when a worker’s place of work or child’s school/place of care is closed by public health officials for a public health emergency? Yes
Rate at which workers earn paid sick time? 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (for both paid and unpaid sick time, as described below)
Do workers have different sick time-related rights based on the size of their employer? If so, based on what employer-size threshold(s)? Yes, workers’ rights differ based on whether or not an employer has 5 or more workers, as described below.
Amount of paid sick time that can be earned under the law per year? (Note: All of these paid sick time laws make it clear that these laws establish a minimum requirement, and employers can provide greater or more generous paid sick time benefits to their workers.) Workers in businesses with 5 or more workers: up to 40 hours a year. Workers in businesses with fewer than 5 workers up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time a year. All workers in certain chain businesses or franchises will be counted together to determine size.
When do workers begin to earn paid sick time? At the commencement of employment, but workers aren’t entitled to use sick time until the 120th calendar day following commencement of employment.
Does unused sick time carry forward to the subsequent year? Workers are entitled to carry forward up to 40 hours of unused sick time, but employers aren’t required to allow use of more than 40 hours of sick time a year. Carry forward is not required if a worker is paid for unused sick time at the end of the year and the employer provides the worker with an amount of paid sick time that meets or exceeds the law’s requirement on the first day of the subsequent year.
Private Right of Action to go to Court? No
Are there waivers/ exemptions for workers covered by a valid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)? The law’s provisions won’t apply to workers in the construction or grocery industry covered by CBA if the law’s provisions are expressly waived in the CBA. The law’s provisions won’t apply to other workers covered by a CBA if the provisions are expressly waived in the CBA and the CBA provides a comparable benefit.
What Agency or Official Enforces the Law? New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
For the statewide paid sick time laws: can cities in the state pass paid sick time laws that are broader than the state law? N/A
Statutory Citation(s) NYC Code § 20-911 et seq.
Additional Notes On October 17, 2017, the New York City Council passed an ordinance amending its sick time law to 1) allow workers to use earned sick time for “safe time” purposes (see endnote 16, below), when the worker or the worker’s family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking; and 2) allow workers to use earned sick time (and safe time) to care for any individual whose close association with the worker is the equivalent of a family relationship. The Mayor signed the ordinance into law on November 6, 2017. It will take effect on May 5, 2018. For more information about New York City's sick time law, see http://www.nyc.gov/PaidSickLeave and A Better Balance's web site https://www.abetterbalance.org/resources/paid-sick-time-for-workers-in-nyc/.
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