On November 30, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed a bill establishing an “Office of Labor Standards,” to be headed by a Director appointed by the Mayor. The Office, once established, is tasked with “study[ing] and mak[ing] recommendations for worker education, safety and protection, educat[ing] employers on labor laws, creat[ing] public education campaigns regarding worker rights, and collect[ing] and analyz[ing] labor statistics.” The ordinance also empowers the Office to administer and enforce the requirements of New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act, which generally requires covered employers with at least 15 employees to provide paid sick time to covered, qualifying employees.

Similar to the New York State Department of Labor, the City Office of Labor Standards will be authorized to receive complaints relating to any laws it enforces (including the Earned Sick Time Act), and conduct investigations relating to alleged violations. An aggrieved employer may appeal orders from the Office following its investigations through an administrative hearing process, according to rules of procedure established by the Office of Labor Standards.

NYC’s Earned Sick Time Act - and the new enforcement mechanism created by this legislation - reflects but one development in the continued trend of municipal rulemaking regarding paid leave. Employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions must stay abreast of these laws.