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The New York City Council overrode a veto by Mayor Bloomberg Thursday and passed a law providing workers with sick days. The bill requires businesses with 20 or more employees to provide five paid sick days to their employees beginning April 1. The mandate extends to businesses with 15 or more employees on Oct. 1, 2015. All other businesses must provide five unpaid sick days annually without retribution to their employees.
The legislation includes a reverse trigger that delays the bill from taking effect until conditions improve if the economy unexpectedly worsens.
“While most large employers already offer paid time off (PTO) that encompasses sick leave, the New York City paid sick time law adds yet another layer of complexity that will need to be managed carefully by human resources professionals,” said Brian Kaplan, partner with Kasowitz, Benson Torres & Friedman LLP’s employment practices and litigation group. “For example, the law grants employees certain rights to ‘carry over’ sick time from year to year (or be paid out at year-end), creates new notice and recordkeeping requirements for employers, and protects against retaliation for using sick time — all of which will make for even more complex legal issues when the law takes effect in April 2014.”
San Francisco; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; and the state of Connecticut also have paid sick time requirements.