New York City Paid Sick Leave Rules Amendments Finalized: Employment Law Manual, Quick Reference Chart Updated

Author: Melissa Burdorf, Marta Moakley and Beth Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editors

Amendments to New York City's Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) rules were finalized and will take effect March 4, 2016. The amendments:

  • Address how an employer, including a new business that has been in operation for less than one year, can calculate its number of employees;
  • Define temporary help firms and when they are legally responsible for ESTA violations;
  • Allow an employer to set the minimum number of hours and time frame for the use of sick time;
  • Clarify the calculation of rate of pay of paid sick time for employees paid on a piecework basis;
  • Clarify that wage supplements need not be included in the rate of pay of paid sick time;
  • Require a business that takes ownership of another business to provide written sick time policies to employees at the time of sale, transfer, acquisition or assignment;
  • Address what an employer must include in written sick time policies;
  • Clarify what records employers must keep;
  • Make clear that an employer's failure to keep or produce written sick time policies and records creates a reasonable inference that a complaint against it is valid;
  • Clarify that an employer's failure to respond to a complaint or provide information requested by the City regarding a complaint may result in a $500 penalty;
  • Address the calculation of accruals and hours worked for on-call employees and employees paid on a piecework or commission basis;
  • Clarify that an employer may take disciplinary action against an employee who engages in a pattern of abuse of paid time;
  • Define the term adverse employment action as used in the definition of retaliation against an employee; and
  • Clarify the City's burden of proof for retaliation claims.

In light of this development, the Paid Sick Leave by State and Municipality Quick Reference chart and the following New York sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated:

In addition, a Legal Timetable entry has been added.