New York City Earned Sick Time Act Significantly Expanded

, New York Law Journal


Ellen R. Storch, a partner at Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck, explains which employers and employees are covered by the expanded version of the Earned Sick Time Act signed into law last week, discusses employer obligations, identifies penalties for violations of the act and points out aspects of it that are unclear.

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What's being said

  • Ellen Storch

    Thank you for the kind words regarding the article. According to the FAQs posted by the Department of Consumer Affairs, an employer is required to grant all 40 hours to an employee, as of the first day of the new calendar year, if the employer chooses to pay out.

  • The statute does not address whether an employer can require an employee to use earned sick time for an absence. I would doubt that an employer could do so, but if the employee is nonexempt, and has no other paid time off available, the employer could choose not to pay the employee for the absence.

  • Also, any thoughts about whether or not an employer can REQUIRE an employee to take a sick day when say, the employee is taking a personal day, or simply absent, but does not claim the day as a sick leave day?

  • Thank you for being the first person I have read that is finally pointing out the drafting oversights and problems with how this law is written. Particularly regarding the carry-over aspect. Would you say that considering that the law is written for the employee‘s benefit, the courts would interpret the pay-out provision as allowing for 5 days immediately upon the new year (if you paid out the remaining days at the end of the previous year)? Doesn‘t that just incentivize the employer to not allow pay outs, and just have carry-over, in which case a good amount of employees might lose the overall amount of days they get in say, a 2-year span?

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