While the New York City paid sick leave law enacted in 2013 over the veto of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg has yet to become effective, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito already have proposed significant modifications to the legislation. The proposed changes are likely to be enacted in short order, according to many observers. (For information on the current legislation and employer obligations, see our article, New York City Employers Must Prepare for Paid Sick Leave, Going into Effect April 1, 2014.) The proposed modifications are summarized below.

  • Employers with at least five, rather than 15, employees will be covered by the law. (It is unclear both under the current and proposed legislation whether the threshold number of employees must be employed in New York City.)
  • The exclusion for manufacturing businesses classified in sections 31, 32 and 33 of the North American Industry Classification System would be eliminated.
  • The relatives for whom an employee may take statutory leave for caretaking would expand to include siblings (including half siblings, step siblings, or siblings related through adoption), grandchildren and grandparents. 
  • The period in which to file an administrative complaint alleging a violation of the law would increase to three years from the current 270 days.
  • The Commissioner would receive authority to conduct investigations of violations of the law on his or her own initiative.
  • The Mayor would have authority to designate an agency other than the Department of Consumer Affairs to handle complaints and otherwise enforce the law.