Your Rights Under the NYC Earned Sick Time Act

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New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed into law an amended version of the city’s Earned Sick Time Act in March. The law went into effect on April 1, and as of July 30, employees who have been at their current jobs since before April 1 are now eligible to use their sick time.

The act was originally adopted on June 26, 2013, after the City Council overrode then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto. As the law was not scheduled to go into effect until April 1, the Council passed bills expanding the reach of the act shortly after DeBlasio’s inauguration.

Under the terms of the new law, people who work over 80 hours a year in New York can now earn up to 40 hours per year in sick time. This time can be used for self-care or for the care of a family member. All employers with five or more employees working in the city must offer paid sick leave, and unpaid sick leave if they have fewer than five. The law also provides two paid sick days to workers with more than a year of service. Employers are obligated to provide details of the new law to all employees.

There are some exceptions to the act. For instance, employers whose leave policies already account for sufficient time as dictated by the new law do not have to modify their existing policies to be in compliance. The law will also not apply to workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement until the terms of that agreement have expired.

If you believe you have been denied the sick time to which you are entitled through the Earned Sick Time Act, or if you believe you employer may not be following the new law, seek the guidance of a skilled New York City, New Jersey or Philadelphia employment law attorney with the Derek T. Smith Law Group.

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