On February 26, 2014, the Manhattan City Council, by a vote of 46 to 5, passed a bill, Int. No. 1-A-2014 (the “Bill”), amending the Manhattan City Earned Sick Time Act to provide that effective April 1, 2014, among other revisions, employers in Manhattan which employ five to 14 employees must give each employee one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to five days per calendar year. (Employers in Manhattan with fewer than 15 employees were outside the scope of the Earned Sick Time Act as originally enacted.) Newly elected Manhattan City Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to sign, into law, the Council’s Bill amending the Earned Sick Time Act.
By way of background, in June 2013, the Manhattan City Council enacted the Earned Sick Time Act, Local Law 46 of 2013 (the “Manhattan City Earned Sick Time Act,” the “Earned Sick Time Act,” the “Act,” or the “NYCESTA”). Effective April 1, 2014, and if certain economic benchmarks are met, the Earned Sick Time Act, as initially enacted, required employers in Manhattan which employ 20 or more employees to give each employee one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to five days per calendar year. So, too, effective October 1, 2015, and if the same economic benchmarks are met, the Act, as originally enacted, compelled businesses in Manhattan City which employ 15 to 19 employees to give each employee one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to five days per calendar year.
The changes which the February 26, 2014 Bill makes to the Manhattan City Earned Sick Time Act include, but are not limited to, the following:
By April 1, 2014, employers in Manhattan, NYC must modify their policies regarding absence because of illness to conform to the Earned Sick Time Act.
Further, beginning on April 1, 2014, employers in Manhattan must provide to each new employee, at the commencement of employment, written notice of the employee’s right to sick time under the NYCESTA, including the accrual and use of sick time, the calendar year of the employer, and the right to be free from retaliation and to bring a complaint to the Department of Consumer Affairs. N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 20-919. The written notice must be in English and in the primary language spoken by that employee, provided that the NYCDCA has made available a translation of the notice in that language. Id. § 20-919. Also beginning April 1, each employer in Manhattan must conspicuously post such written notice at the employer’s place of business in an area accessible to all employees. Id.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is required to, but to date has not, made available on its website, for use by employers in Manhattan, model, written notices of workers’ rights under the Earned Sick Time Act. The NYCDCA’s failure so far to make available model notices does not relieve employers of their obligations, beginning on April 1, 2014, to distribute and post such notices.
David S. Rich is the founding member of the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC,
a Manhattan Employment and Business Litigation Law Firm, in New
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