What Is the Law?
New York State Assembly Bill No. A10152 added §196-b Sick Leave Requirements to the New York Labor Laws. The new state paid sick leave law requires employers located in the state of New York to provide employees paid sick leave. The amount of paid sick leave required to be provided depends on how many employees are employed under a single employer. Employees will be able to use accrued paid sick leave to seek medical attention for mental or physical injuries or assist a family member seeking medical attention for the same reasons. Employees may also use accrued paid sick leave to seek assistance in the unfortunate instance of domestic violence or other crimes or assisting a family member seeking assistance in those unfortunate instances as well.
Employers with 100 or more employees must provide employees with 56 hours of paid sick leave to use each year or benefit year. Employers with 99 or fewer employees must provide employees with 40 hours of paid sick leave. However, there is an exemption for employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the previous tax year; these employers must provide employees with 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income of $1 million or more in the previous tax year do not qualify for the exemption and must provide employees with 40 hours of paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave will accrue at a rate of 1 hour of every 30 hours worked unless an employer elects to frontload all sick time at the beginning of the year. Employees can accrue up to 56 hours of paid leave per year if their employer has 100 or more employees. Employees can accrue up to 40 hours of paid leave or unpaid leave per year if their employer has fewer than 100 employees. Unused sick leave must be carried over to the following year.
Employers with existing paid sick leave or paid time off (PTO) programs are not required to provide additional paid sick leave if the existing plan satisfies the requirements of the state paid sick leave law.
Employees may request a summary of the amount of paid sick leave accrued and used by the employee, the employer must provide the information within 3 business days of the request.
What is the rollout timing of the law?
While employees may not be able to use paid sick leave until January 1, 2021, for a qualified reason, the law goes into effect September 30, 2020, and the accrual of paid sick leave begins. Paid sick time accrued in 2020 will carry over to 2021.
How can RASI assist restaurants to remain in compliance with the law?
RASI’s sick leave tracking system will calculate, and report paid sick leave for New York state, which includes providing employees, on each pay stub, the amount of accrued paid sick leave for the pay period and the year-to-date balance of accrued, used, and available paid sick leave hours. There is a store level report that displays each employee’s year-to-date balance of accrued, used, and available paid sick leave hours. If your company frontloads the required number of hours or has a more generous paid sick leave plan than the New York state-mandated plan, RASI’s sick leave tracking system has the flexibility to frontload and set higher levels to accommodate your plan. If your company is currently stuck in a manual tracking system for sick leave, RASI can import the current balances by employee and take over the process of calculating and reporting sick leave on the first check processed through RASI’s web-based payroll system.