New York City employers will need to extend safe time leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking following the recent expansion of the paid sick leave law that will take effect on May 5, 2018 (180 days after the law was passed). Under the renamed Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, employees may take safe time leave when they or their family members are victims of such crimes, and they need time to receive, or help a family member obtain, health or legal services related to the abuses. The law does not increase the amount of time employees may accrue for paid leave but rather adds to the reasons paid leave may be taken. The law also expands the definition of “family member” to include persons who are so closely associated with the employee as to be equivalent to a family member.
Employers must continue to give employees notice of their rights under the law. Where employers have already given employees notice of their paid sick leave rights, additional notice of the expanded right to safe time will have to be given within 30 days of the new act’s effective date. Employers may still require up to seven days’ advance notice for foreseeable leave, or as soon as practicable for unforeseeable leave, and may require documentation regarding the events giving rise to the leave.