New York Sick/Safe Leave Law
by Vita, on November 6, 2020
As of September 30, 2020, all New York State employers must provide their employees with sick leave. For most employers, it must be paid leave. Some cities (including NYC) and counties had existing local laws that required sick leave. However, these laws have largely been amended to align with the new state law.
Leave Type and Duration Varies by Employer Size
The amount of sick leave that must be provided (and whether such leave is paid or not) varies based on employer size and income as follows:
- Employers with 100+ employees: Seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave per calendar year.
- Employers with 5 to 99 employees: Five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per calendar year.
- Employers with 1 to 4 employees (>$1 million*): Five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per calendar year
- Employers with 1 to 4 employees ($1 million or less*): Five days (40 hours) of unpaid sick leave per calendar year
* Employer net income in previous tax year.
Uses of Leave
The statute establishes specific categories of leave for New York-based employees. The leave duration may be spread across any of the categories, but only one allocation of leave time is available for each employee per calendar year. The leave categories are as follows:
- A mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of an employee or the employee’s family member, regardless of whether such illness, injury or health condition has been diagnosed or requires medical care at the time the employee requests leave
- The diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member.
- An employee or an employee’s family member who is a victim of domestic violence, a sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking in order to avail themselves of services or assistance.