New York City has recently adopted amendments to the New York City sick time law.  These amendments, which go into effect on May 5, 2018, will require action by New York City employers.

Background on New York City’s sick time law

Since April 1, 2014, all New York City employers have been required to provide sick time to their employees.  Whether such sick time is paid or unpaid depends upon the size of the employer.  New York City employers must provide each employee with a copy of the Notice of Employees Rights at the time of hire, and generally must maintain a compliant written sick time policy that is distributed to all employees.  Please see our prior legal updates for further detail on the requirements of the New York City sick time law, as follows:

New York City sick time law expanded to cover “safe time” under recent amendments

Recently, New York City passed a law, Int. 1313-A, that expands the reasons for which employees can use sick time to include “safe time,” and renames the law the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.  These amendments become effective on May 5, 2018.

Action required by New York City employers in response to recent amendments to New York City sick time law

In response to these amendments, New York City employers need to do the following:

  1. On or before May 5, 2018, update their written sick time policies to reflect the new “safe time” provisions; and
  2. On or before June 4, 2018, provide all existing New York City employees with a notice of their rights to use their sick time for “safe time” leave reasons. Note that on or after May 5, 2018, the Notice of Employee Rights provided to new hires will also need to include notice to employees of their rights to take “safe time.”

Expanded rights of New York City employees to take “safe time”

In addition to being able to take sick time, New York City employees will be permitted to take “safe time” if they or their family members have been victims of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking, and need time off from work for related reasons.  Permitted reasons for such “safe time” off from work include obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter or other shelter or crisis center, participating in safety planning, relocating, taking other actions to increase safety, meeting with an attorney or social service provider, filing a complaint or report with law enforcement, meeting with a district attorney’s office, enrolling children in a new school, and taking other actions related to the health, safety, or protection of the employee or the employee’s family member.

Expanded definition of “family member” under New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

The recent amendments also expand the definition of “family member” for both safe and sick time.  Employers should be aware that the New York City law allows employees to take safe and sick time not just for themselves, but also for their “family members,” which is defined quite broadly.

New York City employers should take action now

New York City employers should take steps now to review and update their written policies to comply with the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act in advance of the May 5, 2018 deadline. New York City employers should also prepare to provide all new hires with an updated Notice of Employee Rights covering rights to use “safe time” beginning May 5, 2018.  Finally, New York City employers should prepare to provide all current New York City employees with a notice covering rights to use “safe time” on or before June 4, 2018.  As of this writing, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has not yet issued an updated model Notice of Employee Rights, but we expect that the DCA will issue a model notice in advance of the effective date.

For more information

Please contact us with any questions.  We would be happy to assist your company with compliance with these recent amendments.

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