New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has approved sweeping legislation which will extend the right to paid sick leave to 500,000 employees starting April 1, 2014.
The law is one of the first of what is expected to be many reforms aimed at raising wages and benefits for more New Yorkers.
“From Day One of this administration, we’ve made it our mission to lift up working families and raise the wage and benefit floor for all New Yorkers. This law is the first of many steps we are taking to fundamentally address inequality in this city, and make this a city where everyone rises together,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio during a speech announcing the new legislation.
New York City is not the first to offer workers paid sick leave benefits. San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. are among several cities that require employers to offer sick leave benefits to employees.
The new legislation will eliminate the phase-in for businesses with 15 to 20 workers, remove exemptions for the manufacturing sector, add grandparents, grandchildren and siblings to the definition of “family members”, and eliminate the economic trigger that could have delayed implementation based on certain economic benchmarks.
There are several notice and recordkeeping requirements that fall under employer responsibility for the sick leave laws, and correlating penalties for compliance failure. In order to avoid liability, New York City employers should ensure their policies and procedures have been updated to reflect the new mandates.