Sick Leave

In June 2013, the New York City Council enacted the Earned Sick Time Leave Act, which provides paid sick time to those who work for large private sector employers. This new law also provides the right to unpaid sick time to employees of smaller businesses, including employers of domestic workers.

The new law contains a retaliation provision, making it illegal for an employer to punish an employee for using sick leave provided by the Earned Sick Time Leave Act.

As of April 1, 2014:

  • Most private employers with 20 or more employees must provide paid sick leave
  • Employees who work for employers with less than 20 employees are eligible for unpaid sick time

As of October 11, 2015:

  • Most employers with 15 or more employees, and all employers of one or more domestic workers, must provide paid sick leave

Under the Earned Sick Time Leave Act, sick leave may be taken for the employee’s own health needs; if the employee requires the time off to care for a child, spouse, domestic partner or parent with a health condition; or if there is a public emergency.

If you work in New York City and have been denied sick leave, or fired for taking or requesting sick leave, consult with an experienced employment lawyer.