Jeffrey W. Pagano Comments on Changes to New York State’s Sick Leave Law

RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK — Jeffrey W. Pagano, Partner, Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, LLP, says employers in New York State must now comply with the new requirements of the state’s Sick Leave Law that was introduced in New York’s 2021 budget. He also urges companies to seek assistance in developing and implementing a comprehensive paid leave policy in order to avoid litigation.

On September 30, 2020, the New York Sick Leave Law went into effect. Under the law, companies must provide employees one hour of paid or unpaid sick leave for every 30 hours worked by the employee. The new law allows employees to take leave when they or their loved one’s mental or physical health condition requires medical care; they or their loved one has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking; the employee needs to enroll their children in a new school; or to take any actions to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their loved ones and their co-workers.

According to the law, employers with 100 or more employees must provide employees up to 56 hours of paid sick leave a year. Those with five to 99 employees and companies with four or fewer employees and a net income of more than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave. Those with four or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. Although employers must pay the employee at the regular rate of pay, they can provide additional benefits to the employees as part of their own sick leave policy.

Employees will begin earning sick time on the first day of employment or on September 30, 2020, whichever is later. However, they will not be allowed to use it until January 1, 2021.

Mr. Pagano is a Partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. He routinely defends employers facing class and/or collective action wage-hour claims throughout the U.S., whether arising under federal or state law. He has also been called upon by numerous companies to structure internal and external employment and operating policies and procedures that minimize non-compliance with applicable interstate and intrastate wage-hour statutory schemes.

“I am urging employers to update their sick leave policies as soon as possible,” Mr. Pagano says. “If they need assistance developing a policy and they want to make sure they are in compliance with state law, they should contact a labor and employment law attorney immediately.”

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About Twomey Latham

Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, LLP is a full-service law firm with a 65-person staff with over 30 attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants in five offices across Long Island. The firm’s practice areas include Business and Corporate Law, Labor and Employment, Insurance, Banking, Commercial Litigation, Taxation, Trademark and Copyright, Environmental Law, Real Estate Development and Transactions, Construction, Land Use and Zoning, Municipal Law, Personal Injury, Immigration, Arts and Entertainment, Wills Trusts and Estates, Estate Litigation, Elder Law, Family and Matrimonial Law, and Not-For-Profit Law.