Amendment of Earned Sick Time Rules
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
The City Council enacted the “Earned Sick Time Act,” found in Chapter 8 of Title 20 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York (as added by Local Law 46 for the year 2013, and amended by Local Laws 6 and 7 for the year 2014), so that employees can take time off work to address their health needs or the health needs of family members. The City Council determined that earned sick time would improve public health, foster employee retention and productivity and result in a more prosperous, safer and healthier city.
These rules clarify parts of the Earned Sick Time Act, creating requirements to carry it out and meet its goals and provide guidance to covered employers and protected employees. Specifically, these rules:
• Provide additional guidance on calculating the number of employees in a business;
• Address situations where employees are employed by a joint employer;
• Define “temporary help firm” and define when temporary help firms are legally responsible for violations;
• Allow an employer to set the minimum number of hours and time frame for the use of sick time;
• Clarify the calculation of rate of pay of paid sick time for employees paid on a piecework basis;
• Clarify that wage supplements need not be included in the rate of pay of paid sick time;
• Require a business that takes ownership of another business to provide written sick time policies to employees at the time of sale, transfer, acquisition or assignment;
• Address written sick time policies and what an employer must include in them;
• Clarify what records employers must keep;
• Make clear that an employer’s failure to keep or produce written sick time policies and records creates a reasonable inference that the department’s allegation against it is a fact;
• Clarify that an employer’s failure to respond to a complaint or provide information requested by the Department regarding a complaint will be subject to a $500 penalty;
• Establish relief to an employee if an employer’s policy or practice is not to allow an employee to accrue and/or use sick time;
• Address the calculation of accruals and hours worked for certain employees;
• Clarify that an employer may take disciplinary action against an employee who engages in a pattern of abuse of paid time;
• Define the term “adverse employment action” as used in the definition of retaliation against an employee; and
• Clarify the department’s burden of proof for retaliation cases.
The authority for the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue these rules is found in section 2203 of the New York City Charter and Chapter 8 of Title 20 of the Administrative Code.