The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has issued a revised Notice of Employee Rights under the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“ESSTA”) (formerly called the Earned Sick Time Act, or “ESTA”).

Effective May 5, 2018, this revised Notice of Employee Rights, which replaces the prior Notice of Employee Rights under ESTA, should be provided to all new hires. Current employees should also be provided with the revised notice on or prior to June 4, 2018.

ESSTA’s Changes

As we reported in a previous Act Now Advisory, ESSTA now permits employees to use sick and safe time to address safety issues and access critical services related to specified criminal offenses. In other words, “safe time” is time away from work for various reasons related to the fact that the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, a sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking. Accordingly, the revised Notice of Employee Rights addresses an employee’s right to use safe time.

ESSTA does not compel New York City employers to provide any additional time off to employees above or beyond that which has been required under ESTA; rather, ESSTA simply expands the reasons for which sick and safe time may be used.

Additionally, ESSTA expands the definition of the term “family member” with respect to both sick and safe time to also cover (i) any individual related by blood to the employee and (ii) individuals whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

What New York City Employers Should Do Now

  • Replace the prior Notice of Employee Rights document under ESTA with the revised notice under ESSTA, and provide this revised notice to:
    • all new employees going forward, and
    • all current employees by June 4, 2018.
  • Update handbook policies pertaining to sick time to:
    • indicate that time may be taken for “safe time” reasons, and
    • include the broader definition of “family member.”