As we previously discussed in our earlier blog post, an amendment to the New York City Earned Sick Time Act went into effect on May 5. That amended act, renamed the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, implements two major changes.
First, the act expands the types of circumstances for which employers must allow employees to use paid time off, which now encompasses “safe leave” related to any situation where the employee or family member of the employee becomes a victim of a family offense, sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking. An employee’s use of paid time off for any of these circumstances is referred to as “safe time.”
Second, the act broadens the definition of “family member” for both sick and safe time to also include any other individual related by blood to the employee, and any other individual whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. This provides employees with significant flexibility in determining who qualifies as a family member for whom they may use sick time or safe time.
Although the law went into effect on May 5, employers are required to update their written policies with the act’s amendments (to reference safe time and the expanded definition of family member) and to provide written notice to new and existing employees of their right to accrue and use both sick and safe time by June 4 (within 30 days of the effective date of the amended act). The written notice is available on the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ website here.