1. NEW SICK LEAVE LAW
New York’s new Sick Leave Law requires that beginning January 1, 2021 every private sector and non-profit employer in New York, regardless of size, must provide leave to every part time and full time employee. The amount of leave, and whether it is paid or unpaid, depends on the size of the employer. Where paid leave is required, it is at the greater of the employee’s normal pay rate, or the minimum wage.
- Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
- Employers with 5 to 99 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
- Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of greater than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
- Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year.
An employer may require that leave be used in increments of at least 4 hours.
An employer which has an existing leave policy providing for sick leave or other paid time off that meets or exceeds the accrual, carryover, and use requirements of this law will be in compliance.
Leave may be used for an employee’s or family member’s physical or mental health condition, and for victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, and human trafficking.
An employer may require limited documentation for a leave of three or more days.
Leave can be used for preventive medical care, including dentist and eye doctor appointments.
Bereavement leave is not provided under this law.
Employers were required to begin accruing this leave on September 30, 2020, at the rate of one hour for every thirty hours worked. Leave may either be used as it is accrued, or front loaded at the beginning of each year.
This law requires that employees be returned to their prior position upon completing leave, and prohibits retaliation against employees who take leave.
Any unused leave is carried over to the next year.
Employers are not required to pay for accrued unused leave at termination, provided the employer’s policy specifies this.
2. MINIMUM WAGE
Effective December 31, 2020, the minimum wage for upstate New York is $12.50 per hour for most workers, and $14.50 per hour for fast food workers. The minimum wage for New York City and Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau Counties is higher.
Effective December 31, 2020, the minimum cash wage for tipped food service employees in upstate New York is $8.35 per hour, with a tip credit of $4.15 per hour. The minimum cash wage and tip credit for New York City and Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau Counties are higher.
3. MINIMUM SALARY FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
Effective December 31, 2020, the minimum salary for exempt executive and administrative employees in upstate New York is $937.50 per week. The minimum exempt salary for New York City and Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau Counties is higher.
4. PAID FAMILY LEAVE
The following changes in the NYS Paid Family Leave Law take effect January 1, 2021.
- The paid leave period is increased to 12 weeks per year.
- Employees taking Paid Family Leave will receive 67% of their average weekly wage, with a maximum weekly benefit of $971.61.
- The employee contribution rate is .511% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period (capped at the Statewide Average Weekly Wage). An employee’s maximum annual contribution is $385.34.
Colligan Law is always prepared to assist you in complying with these laws and the many other laws which apply to employers.