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NYC Mayor Signs Legislation Expanding Legal Protection to NYC Workers During Pandemic

Legal Protection to NYC Workers During Pandemic Mayor DeBlasio recently expanded laws enacted to protect city businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. DeBlasio signed three bills in total. The first extended and expanded paid safe and sick leave to more workers. The other two extended protection for commercial tenants and hotel workers.

Safe and Sick Time for NYC Employees

The first bill extends the requirement that city employers must provide safe and sick time for workers. The protection now includes employees of businesses with four or fewer employees and a net income of over $1 million. Businesses larger than that were already included in the requirement. Under the law, employees must offer up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year and carry over up to 40 hours for employees.

Larger employers with 100 or more employees must allow up to 56 hours of sick time per year and allow for the carryover of up to 56 hours.

Protection also now extends to domestic workers who are eligible to accrue leave.

These changes mean that New York City’s policies now align with the New York State Sick Leave Law. Additionally, city law:

  • Permits the city to bring a lawsuit against businesses for violating the sick leave law
  • Allows the city to open investigations into potential violations of the law
  • Clarifies the fines for violations, which can be up to $2500
  • Caps civil penalties at $15,000 if an employer engaged in a pattern of violations

Protection for Commercial Tenants

The second law, concerning commercial tenants, temporarily prohibits the enforcement of a personal guaranty for some commercial properties and rentals. The decision to extend this law came after restaurant owners and other small businesses dealing with COVID restrictions stated they were unable to meet their financial obligations without adequate revenue.

Protection for Hotel Employees and Consumers

And finally, the third law protects displaced hotel service workers out of work due to a change in control of the hotel due to bankruptcy or sale. The new owner of a property must employ existing workers for at least 90 days after the sale commences at the same rate of pay or higher. Workers with satisfactory performance reviews must remain with the establishment beyond the 90 days.

The law also requires hotels to notify guests of any changes that would affect their stay and cannot charge guests if they choose to cancel due to the service disruption.

All of these updates come after New York City restaurant workers protested the ongoing ban on indoor dining in the city. There has been no indication from city officials whether or not the laws will remain in effect after the end of 2020 or once the restrictions are lifted.

You can read more about all three bills at the Official Website of the City of New York.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant amount of upheaval in many industries. Unfortunately, it is the workers that are most severely affected in many of these cases.

If you have questions about COVID-19 policies at your workplace or you would like to know more about what the city had done to protect workers, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C.


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