The New York City Council has quietly amended the Earned Sick Time Act, which becomes effective on April 1, 2014, to allow a cap on accrued time carried over from one year to the next and to clarify the employer’s notice obligation. 

The February amendment was not publicized or even noted on the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) website at the time it was adopted. This amendment overrode former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s December 2013 veto and preceded a second amendment now awaiting Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s signature (see Modifications to New York City Earned Sick Leave Act Proposed).

Pursuant to this amendment, employers:

  1. may impose a cap of 40 hours on the amount of accrued but unused sick time an employee may carryover from one calendar year to the next; and
  2. must give notice of the Act in a form provided by the DCA to current employees within 30 days of April 1, 2014 (this notice has not yet been published).

The modification relating to carryover time likely will not affect covered employers significantly since they already were permitted to cap the amount of time an employee may use in any one calendar year to 40 hours, and they are not obligated to pay out accrued unused time to employees upon separation. The other modification merely clarifies the timing of the notice to current employees.