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Are NYC Employers Ready for an Onslaught of Sick Time Requests?

Eligible employees in New York City (“City”) will be able to start requesting sick time in less than two weeks under the New York City Earned Sick Time Act (“Act”).  Under the Act, employees working over 80 hours in a calendar year in the City can accrue and use up to 40 hours of sick time every year based on hours worked.  Whether this time is paid or unpaid depends on the size of the employer.  While the law became effective April 1, 2014, employers were not required to allow employees to use the time until July 30, 2014.  For new employees, employers are not required to allow use of accrued sick time until 120 days after their date of hire.  As July 30, 2014 approaches, employers need to prepare for such requests.  Unfortunately, there still has been no word on a set of proposed regulations that, if implemented, could have a large impact on how employers implement this law including on the minimum allowable increment of sick time that employers may require an employee to use.

Meanwhile, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the City department tasked with implementing the law, held a “Day of Action” on July 16 where it raised public awareness of the new law.  Volunteers passed out literature in public places such as subways and other transit hubs that day.  Employers should be prepared to answer questions that employees may have if this Day of Action succeeds in causing the law to become “front of mind” for your employees.

If you have not set up a system to track accrual of paid sick time, or if you have not implemented a policy, you should seek counsel immediately.  We will keep you updated on the status of these proposed regulations.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with local, state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.