NYS Paid Sick Leave Law Soon Takes Effect: What Employers Needs to Know

By Stefano Tromba
June 19, 2020

Back on April 3, 2020, two days after the deadline, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s State budget into law.  Included in the budget was a new statewide paid sick leave requirement (in addition to the law NYC has) which is mandated for employers within New York state.

The paid sick leave law mandates covered employees be entitled to begin accruing leave time – on September 30, 2020.  However, employees may be restricted from utilizing accrued sick leave until January 1, 2021.

As always, Fingercheck has you covered!

Under the New Sick Leave Provisions:

  • Employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the prior tax year must provide employees with up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.
  • Employers with between 5 to 99 employees and employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of greater than $1 million in the prior tax year must provide each employee with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees will provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year.
  • Employees must accrue sick leave at a rate of at least 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (which is also the accrual rate set forth under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act and the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law).  Employers may fulfill their obligation under the law by providing the full amount of sick leave in a lump sum at the beginning of each year.
  • Unused sick leave will carry over to the following year, however, employers with less than 100 employees may limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours per year.  Employers with 100 or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to 56 hours per year.

Covered Reasons for Taking Leave

  • Need for diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness or preventative care of the employee or the employee’s family member; and
  • Certain needs related to the employee or the employee’s family member being the victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking, including obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other services program; participating in safety planning; temporarily or permanently relocating; meeting with an attorney or participating in legal proceedings; enrolling children in a new school; or taking other actions to increase the safety of the  employee or employee’s family members
  • For purposes of this leave, a “family member” includes an employee’s child (including foster child, legal ward, or equivalent legal relationship), spouse, domestic partner, parent (including a step- or foster parent, legal guardian, or equivalent legal relationship), sibling, grandchild, grandparent, and the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner.

Use of Sick Leave

The law does provide certain restrictions on the use of sick leave.


  • Employers may set a reasonable minimum daily increment for the use of sick leave of no greater than four (4) hours; and
  • Unused sick leave need not be paid out upon an employee’s separation or termination of employment.
  • Notably, upon return from sick leave, the law will require employees to be restored to their original position held prior to the leave with same pay and terms and conditions in place.

Recordkeeping and Other Requirements

  • Employers are required to keep contemporaneous records showing the amount of sick leave provided to each employee under the law.  Such records must be maintained for a minimum of six (6) years.
  • Upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer will be required to provide a summary of the amounts of sick leave accrued and used by the employee in the current calendar year and/or any previous calendar year.  Such information must be provided to the employee within three business days of such request.

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