As we discussed in a previous alert, New York City's updated Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, which revised New York City's existing paid sick leave law to include coverage for "safe" leave, took effect on May 5, 2018.

In accordance with this update, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has published a revised Notice of Employee Rights, which replaces the previous version. Employers must provide all existing employees with the revised notice before June 4, 2018. Going forward, all new employees must receive the revised notice upon date of hire. Employers located outside of NYC must provide the notice to any employee if or when the employee performs any work in NYC.

Please note that:

  • Each employee must receive the notice in both English and their primary language, to the extent the DCA has published a notice in the language. Notices are available on the DCA website.
  • The notice must be given directly to each employee. Posting the notice in the workplace is not sufficient.
  • Employers are required to keep records of the date each employee received the notice and proof that it was received. Some examples of proof include: signed and dated copies of the notice, signed and dated receipts, or email receipts.
  • Employers with sick leave or paid time off policies that meet or exceed the provisions of the law are still required to give employees this notice. Such employers should not modify the notice other than filling in the employer's calendar year where directed.

As a reminder:

  • The law applies to all employers of covered employees, regardless of an employer's size or location.
  • Under the law, employers must provide covered employees with at least 40 hours of safe/sick leave annually. For employers of five or more covered employees, this leave must be paid. In addition, employers of at least one covered domestic worker must provide such workers with at least two days of paid safe/sick leave annually; this is in addition to their three paid days of rest.
  • Employees are covered if they physically work in any of the five boroughs for at least 80 hours in a calendar year. Domestic workers are covered if they meet the 80-hour threshold and if they have worked for the same employer for at least one year. (Limited exceptions exist as to which employees are covered, including but not limited to: certain NYSDOE licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and audiologists; independent contractors; and certain employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) (subject to the date and terms of the CBA).)

Next Steps: Employers should download and complete the revised notice immediately and begin distributing it to all current employees and new hires. Company recordkeeping practices should include a procedure regarding obtaining proof that employees received the notice.

In addition, employee handbooks and/or paid time off policies should be reviewed and updated, if they have not been already, to include the provisions under the revised law.