Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced the launch of a new public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers about their rights under the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law and to raise awareness about its new amendments that went into effect earlier this year.
“We want to make sure workers know they have these important rights and that we will enforce these protections,” said DCWP Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles. “Too often workers are not aware of their rights or think the law does not apply to them. With this campaign, we hope to educate workers and also make it clear to employers about their responsibilities in providing paid safe and sick leave—which has been especially crucial in this time of CoViD-19. If any employer is not complying with the law, we urge you to file a complaint with us.”
The multilingual campaign encourages New Yorkers to use their leave for various reasons, such as when they or a loved one is sick or injured, have a medical checkup, or are struggling with CoViD-19 anxiety or depression. The targeted ads will run on the city’s bus shelters and LinkNYC kiosks, as well as in online and in neighborhood businesses, such as doctors’ offices and pharmacies.
Recent amendments to NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law include:
- Employers with 100 or more employees in New York State must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave.
- Employers with four or fewer employees in New York State and a net income of $1 million or more must provide PAID leave.
- Employers must provide domestic workers with 40 hours of paid safe and sick leave.
- Employers must allow employees to use safe and sick leave as it is accrued, with no waiting period for new hires.
- Employers can require documentation when employees use more than three workdays in a row of safe and sick leave; and employers must reimburse employees for any fees paid for required documentation.
- Employers must inform employees of their accrued, used, and total leave balances on a document issued each pay period (e.g., paystub) or through an employee-accessible electronic system.
Since the Law went into effect, the agency has received more than 2,300 complaints about Paid Safe and Sick Leave and secured more than $13.35 million in restitution and fines for more than 37,000 employees.
Safe and sick leave is accrued at a rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 or 56 hours per calendar year, and begins on the employee’s first day of employment. For employers who do not frontload safe and sick leave on the first day of a new calendar year, employees must be able to carry over up to 40 or 56 hours of unused safe and sick leave from one calendar year to the new calendar year.
If the need to use leave is foreseeable, employers can require up to seven days advance notice to use accrued leave. If the need is unforeseeable, employers may require notice as soon as practicable. Employers can require documentation for more than three consecutive workdays of leave, but it is illegal to require that documentation specify the reason for using it. Employers may not engage in or threaten retaliation against employees, which includes firing and any act that punishes an employee for or is likely to deter an employee from exercising their rights under the Law.
Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information about the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, including the required new Notice of Employee of Rights, which is available in 26 languages, one-page overviews for employers and employees, and the complaint form.
About Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 75,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities.