Paid Sick Leave Legislation Went Into Effect Yesterday

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin reminds employers and employees that yesterday, July 30, 2014, covered employees began using accrued sick leave under the City’s paid sick leave law. The paid sick leave law, which went into effect April 1, 2014, covers most employees who work more than 80 hours a year in New York City. Under the law, employers with five or more employees who are hired to work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City must provide paid sick leave. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide unpaid sick leave.

“July 30th was truly a historic day in our city because more than a million workers no longer have to choose between their jobs and caring for themselves or a family member,” said DCA Commissioner Julie Menin. “Paid sick leave will lead to greater employee productivity and morale and lower health care costs. Not to mention that workers no longer have to worry about losing their job if they need to stay home sick with the flu or about losing a paycheck to care for a loved one who’s sick. Employees will now be able to use the sick leave they’ve earned and we will continue to work to ensure employees know how to comply, and employees know their rights, to mediate complaints and, when necessary, issue violations.”

Employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year. Accrual began April 1, 2014, or on an employee’s first day of employment, whichever came later and employees can begin using accrued leave 120 days after they began accruing leave. On the first day of employment, employers must provide the Notice of Employee Rights in English and, if available on the DCA website, their primary language. Domestic workers who have worked for their employer for more than one year must be provided two days of paid sick leave, which is in addition to the three days of paid rest under the New York State Labor Law. 

DCA’s paid sick leave outreach and education campaign includes advertisements in the city’s subway cars, stations, and buses. The campaign will continue through the summer with advertisements on television, radio, online and in daily, community, and foreign language newspapers, as well as training events, webinars and other outreach activities for working New Yorkers, businesses, and families. As part of the campaign, DCA has also reached out to more than 400,000 small businesses and thousands of workers at nearly 170 town hall meetings and events throughout the five boroughs. On July 16, more than 1,400 volunteers participated in Paid Sick Leave Day and distributed more than 350,000 paid sick leave brochures in eight languages at 120 subway stations across the five boroughs. Paid sick leave Rules, which clarify the existing law, will be published in The City Record tomorrow, July 30, and will be effective immediately.

Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/PaidSickLeave or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information, including upcoming events and webinars, the required Notice of Employee Rights, one-page overviews for employers andemployeesFAQs, DCA’s paid sick leave training presentation in multiple languages, the complaint form, and legal interpretations. New Yorkers can also follow DCA onTwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram using the hashtag #paidsickleave, and employers can ask questions online on DCA’s Live Chat for Business platform Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The one-page overviews for employers and employees and Notice of Employee Rights are now available at nyc.gov/PaidSickLeave in 25 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional), French Creole (Haitian Kreyol), Italian, Korean, Russian (already available), as well as Chinese (simplified), Bengali, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Polish, Yiddish, French, Urdu, German, Portuguese, Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Tagalog, Greek, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Japanese, and Yoruba.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licenses, inspects, and educates businesses, mediates complaints, educates consumers, and offers free financial counseling and safe banking products. DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law, the Paid Sick Leave Law and other related business laws throughout New York City and licenses nearly 80,000 businesses in 55 different industries. Through targeted outreach, partnerships with community and trade organizations, and informational materials, DCA educates consumers and businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities. DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment assists low-income New Yorkers with innovative programs and services to increase access to high-quality, low-cost financial education and counseling, safe and affordable mainstream banking, and access to income-boosting tax credits and savings. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at nyc.gov/consumers or on its social media sites, TwitterFacebook,Instagram, and YouTube.

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