Date: December 1, 2020Attorney: Lauren X. Topelsohn

On September 30, 2020, New York’s State Sick Leave Law (NYSSL) went into effect. Under the NYSSL, employees began accruing sick leave benefits at a rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers may require employees to wait until January 21, 2021 before they use any accrued leave.

What Must Employers Do?

New York issued its first guidance on the NYSSL on October 20, 2020. Employers have until November 30, 2020 to comply and avoid potential penalties.

How Much Leave, and is it Paid?

NYSSL requires all private employers to provide either paid or unpaid sick leave annually, depending on their size and revenue. Employers with 99 or fewer employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually; those with 100 or more employees, must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave. For employers with four or fewer employees, and annual net income of less than $1 million, the leave is unpaid.

Impact on New York City Employers?

The NYSSL does not preempt New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (NYC-SSL). New York City amended the NYC-SSL on September 28, 2020 to align with the NYSSL, and recently updated its FAQ. However, differences remain, and employers covered by the NYC-SLL must continue to provide employees with benefits that exceed those under the NYSSL.