New York City has once again shown its intent to be a national leader in implementing robust worker protections. Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday called for New York City to pass legislation mandating paid personal time for employees working in the city. If implemented, New York City would be the first jurisdiction in the country to mandate paid personal time for employees.

The Specifics

The mayor plans to pursue legislation that would require private employers with five or more employees to provide employees with up to 10 days of paid time off per year. The paid time off could be used by the employee for any purpose, such as vacation, religious observances, bereavement, or time with family. This paid personal time would be in addition to the five days of paid sick leave already provided to workers under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, which took effect in 2014.

The mayor’s proposal would allow employees to accrue paid personal time up to a maximum of 10 days per year. Employees would be only able to use their time off after 120 days of employment. Any unused paid personal time would be able to be carried over to the following year. Employers would be able to require up to two weeks’ notice for using leave and have “reasonable exceptions” for granting leave to prevent too many workers from taking off at the same time.

What’s Next?

Legislation has not yet been formally introduced in the New York City Council, but the de Blasio administration has vowed to work with the City Council to make paid personal time a reality. City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) has indicated that he will be the lead sponsor on the on the bill. Councilman Williams introduced a similar measure in 2014, but all prior attempts to pass paid personal time legislation have been unsuccessful.

New York City employers must stay tuned as the Mayor’s proposal winds its way through the legislative process. At this point, there are more questions than answers, but one thing is certain—if successfully enacted, the mayor’s paid time off proposal will significantly impact New York City employers.