On July 14, 2022, the New York City Council introduced legislation that would allow employees to file a civil action against their employers to enforce their rights under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act. Currently, employees seeking recourse are limited to filing an administrative complaint with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

If enacted as drafted, the legislation would go into effect Jan. 1, 2023. Employees would not have to file any complaint with the Department or otherwise exhaust any administrative remedies prior to commencing a civil action. Moreover, employees who file a lawsuit would be able to seek an award of compensatory damages (possibly in addition to certain existing financial remedies), injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.

The proposed bill was referred to the New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor, and, at this time, it is unknown if and when it will be considered by the entire Council.