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What You Need to Know about New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act

paid time leaveThe Earned Sick Time Act in New York City

As of May 5, 2018, the New York City's Earned Sick Time Act permits employees paid time off, if they or their family members are victims of domestic violence. Such time off, referred to as “safe time” in the Act, may be utilized to address certain non-medical needs concerning domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking.

The Act states that employers with 5 or more employees who are employed for hire more than 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City must provide employees who are victims of domestic violence paid leave under the Act. Employer with 1 to 4 employees who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City, must also provide leave to victims of domestic violence, but it can be unpaid. Furthermore, employers, within the meaning of the Act, must allow eligible employees to earn paid safe time under the act at a rate no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of leave per calendar year. However, employers can require employees to give reasonable notice of the need to use such paid safe time if leave is foreseeable or, if leave is not foreseeable, to give notice as soon as practicable. Similarly, employers may require employees to provide reasonable documentation of their use of paid safe time for more than three consecutive workdays. Retaliation for exercising such rights, governed under the Act, is also strictly prohibited.

Specifically, the Act allows such an employee paid time off to : (1) obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking, (2) participate in safety planning, temporarily relocate or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee's family members from future family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking or human trafficking, (3) meet with an attorney or social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in, any criminal or civil proceeding, including, but not limited to, matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing or consumer credit, (4) file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement, (5) meet with a district attorney's office, (6) enroll children in a new school, (7) take other actions necessary to maintain, improve or restore the physical, psychological or economic health or safety of the employee or employee's family member, (8) protect those who associate or work with the employee.

If you believe that your employer has violated this statute or you have experienced discrimination in your workplace, please contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. today for a consultation.

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