New York Amends Its Sick Leave Policy

Last April, New York enacted permanent paid sick leave to most workers starting next year.

Previously, paid sick leave was mandatory in just New York City and Westchester County. Under the new state law, however, all New Yorkers will be eligible for sick time, and companies with 100 or more employees must allow workers to accrue up to 56 hours, up from the 40 hours of paid sick time per year that employers in NYC and Westchester county were required to provide.

Additional details of the state law include:

  • Companies with general paid-time-off policies can require workers to use their accumulated sick days when they are sick, in lieu of offering separate, specific sick days
  • Small and midsize companies must provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year, and the only companies that are exempt are those with fewer than four employees and a net income of $1 million or less per year
  • Workers begin accruing paid sick leave immediately upon starting a job and can use it as soon as it is accrued, thereby eliminating the need to work a certain length of time or hours before becoming eligible for the benefit
  • Workers’ jobs are protected for the duration of their paid sick time

It is important that employers in New York recognize how the state's paid sick leave law interacts with other paid leave laws that apply to New Yorkers, such as the laws in NYC and Westchester and the state's COVID-19 leave policy.

This blog post is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.