In February 2014, the New York City Council voted to expand the Earned Sick Time Act (Act), originally passed last year. The changes will take effect on April 1, 2014, the same date the original law was set to take effect. Notably, this Act eliminates the exemption for the manufacturing sector, which previously did not include manufacturers under the definition of “employer.” While manufacturers will continue to be exempt from providing paid sick time; manufacturers will also be required to provide unpaid sick time to their employees.
There are other expansions of the law as well. The definition of “family member” has been broadened to include a sibling, grandchild or grandparent. The threshold number of employees requiring an employer to comply with the law has been reduced from 15 to five. Employers must retain records for three years, up from two. Moreover, the right to file a complaint with the department of consumer affairs to enforce the law has been extended to two years, an increase from 270 days.
Notice and posting requirements have also been amended such that, in addition to informing new employees about their rights under the Act, employers also must notify current employees of these rights within 30 days of when the law goes into effect (i.e., by the end of April 2014). Written notice must include information on the accrual and use of sick time, the calendar year of the employer, and the right to be free from retaliation and to bring a complaint to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (Department). The notice must be in English or the primary language spoken by that employee if that primary language is Chinese, French- Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian, or Spanish. Translations for these languages will be available in a downloadable format on the Department’s website. The Act also provides that such notice may also be conspicuously posted at an employer’s place of business in an area accessible to employees. More information and the legislation text can be found here.