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What you need to know about paid sick and safe leave


Sometimes you need to miss work. You get sick, or someone in your family does. Medical and dental appointments can conflict with work schedules. It seems like there’s always the potential for a health-related matter to make getting to work more difficult, and missing work can put your job at risk.

Recognizing the problem, cities and states have begun to enact laws ensuring paid sick leave for employees. And it’s frequently not limited to full-time employees.

Not long ago, the only employees who were eligible for paid sick leave were those who were “full-time,” and even then, many companies simply didn’t offer it. More and more, between independent initiatives from corporations and state and city legislation, it is becoming more common for all employees to have paid sick leave available to them.

New York is one such city, and important information about its paid sick and safe leave is below.

The impact

In New York City, recent legislation requires that companies employing more than five people offer paid sick and safe leave to employees who work more than 80 hours annually. Employees earn one hour of sick and safe leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per calendar year. The employer decides whether the leave time is available to the employee only as it accrues, or whether it can be front-loaded and used before it accrues.

While the law requires employers to make the paid leave time available to employees, employers are not required to compensate employees for unused time either upon termination or at the end of the year.

When can I use it?

Initially, only sick time was covered. Employees could use the time to care for themselves or a family member, or use the time for preventative care appointments.

Earlier this year, employees gained a new way to use their sick time. Now New York City employees who find themselves (or a family member) in a dangerous situation can use their sick leave as “safe leave.”

What is safe leave?

An employee can use safe leave to help themselves or a family member take safety measures or seek assistance when they are facing certain threats. Among the included threats are domestic violence and stalking.

Who is family?

Recognizing the impact and importance of family relationships, the definition of family under the paid sick and safe law includes more than just the typical spouse, children and parents. It also includes children of a spouse or domestic partner, grandparents and grandchildren, parents, and siblings.

For more details about NYC’s paid sick and safe leave, contact an experienced employment attorney.

Dedicated Litigators And Knowledgeable Legal Advocates

The Attorneys of Katz Melinger PLLC