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New York City Council Passes Earned Sick Time Bill

Labor and Employment Alert | May 15, 2013
By: George C. Morrison

The New York City Council voted to pass the New York City Earned Sick Time Bill last week.  Effective April 1, 2014, New York City employers with more than 20 employees will be required to provide up to five paid sick days to employees who are in their employ for at least four months.  Employers with 15 or more employees are set to be subject to the same rules starting in October 2015.  The Bill also includes multiple other mandates, including a requirement that employers notify employees of their rights at the time of hire. 

Employers will be subject to a penalty of three times the wages that should have been paid or $250, whichever is greater, for each instance of sick leave that is unlawfully denied.  Civil penalties of $500 for the first violation, $750 for subsequent violations within two years of the first violation and $1,000 for each succeeding violation may be imposed.  The Bill also includes penalties for retaliation and unlawful discharge.

Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to veto the Bill, stating that it is “short-sighted economic policy that will take our city in the wrong direction.”  However, the City Council will likely override a veto by the Mayor, if asserted.

Employers are encouraged to work with counsel now to develop and implement a plan for compliance with New York City’s new legal requirements.  Even those companies that already provide paid sick leave should conduct a comprehensive review to ensure their policies meet the Council’s new standards.

For more information regarding this alert, please contact  George C. Morrison (646.837.5773; morrisong@whiteandwilliams.com) or any member of our Labor and Employment Law Group.

This correspondence should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and legal questions.
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