New York City’s new Earned Sick Time Act (“ESTA”), one of the most significant mandatory changes to employers’ leave practices in years, takes effect on April 1, 2014.
Under the ESTA, most private NYC employers with 20 or more employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave each year to be used for the employee’s own medical condition or that of a family member. Eligible employees under the Act include any person employed within the city for more than 80 hours in a calendar year, whether on a full-time, part-time, or temporary basis.
Kelley Drye previously issued a Client Advisory providing a detailed analysis of the ESTA, including eligibility and usage requirements, accrual rates, an employer’s ability to impose restrictions on sick leave, and exceptions to the ESTA. After the ESTA goes into effect, employees must be provided with written notice of their rights under the law at the time of employment. The Department of Consumer Affairs, tasked with enforcing the ESTA, has been directed to prepare sample notices and make them available on its website, but has yet to do so.
As the requirements of the ESTA are fairly specific, employers with operations in NYC should review the law and determine whether revisions must be made to existing leave policies and procedures to ensure compliance come April 1. Employers should pay particular attention to part-time and temporary employees, who are frequently excluded from employer leave policies but may be entitled to leave under the new law.