Two States Announce New Paid Sick Leave Laws

On April 1st, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) went into effect nationwide. Under that law, businesses with less than 500 employers provide workers with up to two weeks of paid sick leave. Employers also need to provide additional emergency family and medical leave. This leave, however, must be related to the COVID-19 health crisis. The paid sick leave provided goes back to the employer through a dollar-for-dollar refundable tax credit. In addition to the FFCRA, two states recently released information about new paid sick leave laws.

California Paid Sick Leave

On September 9th, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1867 into law. This bill adds additional paid sick day coverage to the time already provided under the FFCRA. Now, employers with over 500 employees must offer paid sick leave to workers exposed to COVID-19. Employers must also grant paid sick leave to those who test positive for the virus. Public and private employers of first responders and health care employees are also now subject to those requirements. AB 1867 went into effect immediately after the Governor’s signing of the bill.

 New York Paid Sick Leave

In addition to the FFCRA, New York State will require all employers to provide sick leave to their workers. The New York State Sick Leave (NYSSL) law goes into effect September 30th, 2020. Employees, however, are not entitled to use NYSSL until January 1st, 2021.

The NYSSL law includes the following stipulations:

  • The amount of NYSSL time employees receive vary by employer size and income:
  • Employers with at least 100 employees must provide 56 hours of paid sick leave.
  • Employers with fewer than 100 employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave.
  • Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income in excess of $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave.
  • Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.
  • NYSSL accrues at a rate of 1 hour of every 30 hours worked. This is unless an employer elects to frontload all sick time at the beginning of the year.
  • Employers may set a reasonable minimum increment for use, which cannot exceed 4 hours.

NYSSL provides time for:

  • Employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for employee’s mental or physical illness or injury;
  • Covered family member’s mental or physical illness or injury or diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for a covered family member’s mental or physical illness or injury;
  • Absences related to employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking; or
  • Absences related to a covered family member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.

The complete text of the NYSSL law is within this bill. Employers in New York City and Westchester County, however, already have their own sick leave laws. The state will be providing guidance as to how the NYSSL will interact with these existing requirements.

Employers also need to be aware that NYSSL is separate from the New York State Quarantine Leave Law. The Quarantine Leave Law went into effect on March 18st, 2020 and is set to expire December 31st, 2020.

Employer Takeaways

Even though the majority of the laws discussed in this post are specific to New York and California, employers with less than 500 employees need to remember that the FFCRA is in effect until December 31st, 2020. Additionally, all employers in every state should check with their local labor offices to see if there are additional paid sick leave laws they need to follow.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Comments (required)*