Many New York City employers will likely be required to provide employees at least 40 hours of paid sick leave next year.
The New York City Council on May 8 passed a bill known as the Earned Sick Time Act, which, if enacted, would require employers to provide employees one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of leave per year. The paid sick leave requirement would take effect April 1, 2014, for employers with either 20 or more employees or one or more domestic workers, and on April 1, 2015, for employers with 15 or more employees.
Employers would be subject to a penalty of three times the wages that should have been paid or $250, whichever is greater, for each instance of sick leave that is unlawfully denied. Violations also could result in civil penalties of $500 for the first violation, $750 for subsequent violations within two years of the first violation and $1,000 for each succeeding violation. The bill also includes penalties for retaliation and unlawful discharge.
In a statement issued March 29, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to veto the bill, calling it "short-sighted economic policy that will take our city in the wrong direction." But because the bill passed 45-3, the City Council has the two-thirds majority necessary to override the mayor's veto.
If it enacts the bill, New York City would join several other jurisdictions, including Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; and the entire state of Connecticut, that already require paid sick leave.