New York State Releases an FAQ Regarding its Paid Sick Leave Law Important Questions Answered
The New York State Department of Labor has released an FAQ regarding some of the more confusing aspects of its new Paid Sick Leave law. It has crafted detailed answers that will assist employers in compliance. The important aspects of the new FAQ are detailed below:
- When counting employees (to determine how much leave needs to be offered to employees), employers must count all employees nationwide. Furthermore, the period of counting is calendar year (January 1-December 31). If an employer begins the calendar year at a lower threshold and reaches a larger threshold through the year, the employer must prospectively provide more leave to employees based on that higher threshold.
- Employers must carry over all unused Paid Sick Leave time from one year to the next, even if they have decided to frontload the leave. Employers also have the option to allow employees to receive payment for unused time in lieu of carrying it over (employers may not compel payout).
- An employer may not deny leave to an employee solely on the fact that the employee does not yet have proper documentation to take Paid Sick Leave. If the employee states that the documentation will be available in the future, the employer must allow the leave. If the employee turns out to be taking the leave fraudulently, the employer may take adverse employment action against them.
- Employers may not require prior notice before an employee is allowed to access leave hours (even if the leave is foreseeable).
- Employers need NOT inform employees of their rights under New York State Paid Sick Leave law.
It is important to note that the New York State Paid Sick Leave law has not been amended. All these points are official clarifications of the current law on the books. As such, employers need only amend their policies insofar as it contradicts one of the bullets above and do not need to revise their entire policy.
Heather Reynolds, ESQ