New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Intro 1313-A into law, requiring employers to provide paid time off for hours taken in connection with family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking, grouped collectively as “Safe Time.”

On November 6, 2017, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Intro 1313-A, an amendment to New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act, which will require employers to allow employees to use paid time off for “Safe Time.” The revised law (the “Earned Safe and Sick Time Act”) will take effect on May 5, 2018 (180 days after signing).

Mayor de Blasio stated: “No New Yorker should ever have to decide between their safety and a paycheck…This new law will make it easier for survivors to get the care they need without jeopardizing their livelihood.”

As discussed previously, Int. 1313-A imposes an additional set of covered circumstances in which employers must allow employees to use paid time off but does not require employers to provide a greater number of hours under the Act.

The new circumstances include:

  1. To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking;
  2. To participate in safety planning, temporarily relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking;
  3. To meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in, any criminal or civil proceeding, including but not limited to matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing, or consumer credit;
  4. To file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;
  5. To meet with a district attorney’s office;
  6. To enroll children in a new school; or
  7. To take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

Employers will be required to provide notice to employees of “Safe Time” rights before June 4, 2018 (within 30 days of the law’s effective date). Further, employees will need to update existing policy language to comport with the amendments.