Paid Sick Leave Rules
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:12)
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), to ensure that employees can take time off work to address their health needs or the health needs of family members. The City Council determined that providing sick time would have a positive effect on public health, foster employee retention and productivity and result in a more prosperous, safer and more healthy city.
These proposed rules clarify provisions in the Earned Sick Time Act, establish requirements to implement the Act and meet its goals, and provide guidance to covered employers and protected employees. Specifically, these rules:
- Provide a methodology for new employers to calculate the number of their employees;
- Address situations where employees are employed by more than one employer, who, as “joint employers,” are jointly and individually liable for ensuring compliance with the Earned Sick Time Act;
- Confirm that the Earned Sick Time Act applies to employees irrespective of immigration status;
- Explain what may constitute a “reasonable” minimum amount of leave that an employer may require for the use of sick time;
- Establish requirements for employer policies that require employees to provide “reasonable notice” before using sick time;
- Clarify that an employer may require an employee to provide written documentation of the need for sick time from a licensed health care provider if the employee is absent for more than three consecutive “work days” and define “work day” in this context;
- Address accrual of sick time for domestic workers;
- Address the rate of pay of paid sick leave for certain employees;
- Provide that employees must be paid for sick time no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the sick time was used by the employee, unless the employer has asked for written documentation or verification of the need for sick time, in which case the employer is not required to pay sick time until the employee provides it;
- Address what happens to accrued sick time after an employer sells, transfers or otherwise assigns its business to another employer and the employee continues to work for that business;
- Establish requirements relating to the distribution or posting of an employer’s sick leave policies;
- Clarify the requirements in the Earned Sick Time Act relating to Department access to employer records and define “appropriate notice” of the need for such access by the Department;
- Describe the circumstances in which the Department will issue a Notice of Violation to an employer;
- Establish a cure period for certain violations of the Earned Sick Time Act relating to the failure to respond to a complaint or provide records; and
- Describe the circumstances in which the Department may conduct an investigation of an employer’s employment practices on its own initiative.
The authority for the Department of Consumer Affairs to promulgate these rules is found in section 2203 of the New York City Charter and Chapter 8 of Title 20 of the Administrative Code.