Effective September 30, 2020, new rules for New York state sick leave law will come into effect. That means all employees in New York state will begin to accrue protected sick leave although it will not be available for use until January 1, 2021. Here’s what every employer needs to know about the latest changes.
How Do I Know How Much to Pay?
Although all employers are required to provide protected sick leave, it is based on the company size and net income. You include all employees that are part and full time, although whether you include those living outside the state is not noted in the guidelines. The NYC paid sick leave law rules are as follows:
- 4 or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less: 40 hours, unpaid
- 4 or fewer employees and net income of more than $1 million: 40 hours, paid
- 5–99 employees: 40 hours, paid
- 100+ employees: 56 hours, paid
For companies with over 100 employees come out ahead with an additional 16 hours of paid sick leave under the new guidelines.
How is Sick Pay Accrued?
One hour of sick leave is accrued for every 30 hours worked. You begin adding the hours on September 30, 2020, for all those you currently employ. Employees hired after September 30, 2020, will begin accrual on their first day of work.
What Happens to Unused Sick Leave?
One of the most important factors when it comes to unpaid sick leave is that it DOES NOT have to be paid out if an employee is terminated. In the case of unused sick leave for employees who remain with the company, their hours will roll over into a new benefit year. However, just keep in mind you can limit yearly use. For companies with 99 or fewer employees the limit is 40 hours and for those with 100 or more employees, it is 56 hours.
One thing not addressed in the new law is whether front loading or lump sum systems will be allowed. We will continue to keep you updated as the information becomes available.
When Can Employees Use Sick Leave?
There are several scenarios in which employees may use their NY sick leave including:
- A mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of the employee or their family member (regardless of whether it has been diagnosed or requires medical care when the employee requests leave)
- The diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of, or need for medical diagnosis of, or preventive care for the employee or their family member
- Certain reasons related to domestic violence, a family offense, a sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking of the employee or their family member (unless the employee committed the offense).
What If I Already Have a Sick Leave Plan?
If you have a sick leave plan that either meets or exceeds the new NYC paid sick leave law, you don’t have to make any changes to your existing plan. However, if you are subject to local sick leave laws you have to offer the higher level of benefits, whether that’s under local or state law.
How Long Must I Maintain Records?
The sick leave records for each employee must be saved for a minimum of six years. Should an employee or ex-employee request you provide them with a summary of their sick leave, this would include both their accrued hours and any hours they have used up for both the current and past calendar years. If you would like to make tracking accrual and paid sick leave easier, a comprehensive integrated payroll and benefits software can help. You can have the information you need tracked, stored and updated in real-time for accurate records stored and maintained on a secure site.
If you would like information on how Paypro can help implement changes to accommodate the NYC paid sick leave law, speak to our team today.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.