In 2021, New York State and New York City employers need to prepare for new and amended sick leave requirements. The New York State Paid Sick Leave Law goes into effect on January 1st, 2021. In addition, amendments to the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law are effective the same day. As a result of those amendments, New York City employees’ paid sick leave entitlements will expand.

Overview of Statutes in Both Laws

Under both the new state law and the New York City amendments:

  • Any employers with at least 100 employees must provide employees up to 56 hours of paid leave each year.
  • Employers with fewer than 100 employees must provide 40 hours of paid leave.
  • Specific employers with up to four employees must provide 40 hours of paid leave. However, that’s only if the company had a net income of at least $1 million in the previous tax year.
  • Employers with up to four employees with a net income of less than $1 million must provide 40 hours of unpaid leave.

The state law went into effect on September 30th for the purpose of accrual of paid sick leave. Because of that, employees not previously covered by local law can access their new sick leave beginning January 1st, 2021.

New York City Paid Sick Leave Specifics

The amended New York City law eliminated a 120-day waiting period for use of accrued time beginning September 30. In addition, the amendments also include a new posting requirement and New York City has provided a model notice. Moreover, if employers request supporting medical documentation, they must reimburse employees for costs and expenses associated with obtaining the documentation. Further, New York City has modified its mandatory new hire notice. As a result, employees hired on or after September 30 must receive that notice at time of hire. In addition, employers also must distribute the updated notice to employees hired before September 30 by January 1st, 2021. That, however, only applies if the employer has more than 100 employees.

Meanwhile, the amended New York City law requires employers to include accrual, usage, and balance information on wage statements. This also includes any other written documentation at the time of wage payment. This requirement originally included a safe harbor until November 30 for employers who were working in good faith to comply. Subsequently, however, New York City extended the safe harbor grace period to January 1.

Employer Takeaways

With the looming effective date of both laws, affected employers should examine their paid sick leave policies for possible changes. Above all, New York State employers should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to comply with the new enactment. Similarly, New York City employers need to ensure they adjust practices to account for both the state and city law.