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Blog banner of New York State Paid Time Off Laws Comprehensive Guide to New York Paid Time Off Laws

New York State Paid Time Off Laws: A Comprehensive Guide to New York Paid Time Off Laws

New York’s labor laws have comprehensive provisions regarding paid time off for employees in the city. These laws define and regulate how employers address employees’ paid time off requirements under different circumstances.

Like any other state law, the New York State paid time off laws also aim to strike a balance between the needs of employers and the well-being of their workforce.

Whether you are an employer based in New York or an individual working for an establishment in the city, knowing New York paid time off laws will serve both.

Let’s look at various New York state PTO categories, requirements, and nuances.

Yes, paid time off is a crucial aspect of employment in New York. The state has established a set of regulations that allow employees to take paid time off from work. For instance, the New York State Sick Leave Law (NYSSLL) makes it mandatory for a business with over five workers or a net income of $1 million to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees.

The paid time off for safe leave allows a qualifying employee to take time off if the employee or their family member has been the victim of domestic violence. Additionally, the employees must be paid at the normal rate or the applicable minimum wage rate, whichever is greater.

Under the paid time off law, employees in New York State accrue sick and safe leave at the rate of one hour off for every thirty hours worked.

These laws apply to all private-sector employees, irrespective of their industry, occupation, or type of employment.

Awareness of the laws related to different kinds of leaves benefits employers and employees. Also, these regulations may change over time, so you should have the most accurate and up-to-date information on these laws.

1. Vacation leave

New York has no specific law mandating paid or unpaid vacation leave. Therefore, the decision to provide paid time off is at the sole discretion of the employers.

If an employer chooses to offer paid or unpaid vacation leave, the policies for such leaves must adhere to New York labor law section 198-c. Also, companies must communicate clearly about the accrual, usage, and forfeiture of vacation time.

2. Sick leave

The New York State Sick Leave Law regulates decisions regarding sick leaves at a private workspace. The law took effect on April 3, 2020. Under this law:

Eligible employees accrue sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.

Employers with four or fewer employees and a net income of less than $1 million must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.

Employers with more than four employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

Employers with over 100 employees must provide 56 hours of paid sick leave per year.

3. Holiday leave

New York state does not mandate private employers to provide paid holidays. However, some businesses may require employees to work on holidays. Still, employers are not obligated to pay employees premium wages, i.e., one and a half times the regular wage, to work on holidays.

Offering paid time off for holidays or overtime is generally at the employer’s discretion. It’s crucial for employers offering holiday leave benefits to clearly communicate their holiday leave policies and comply with the terms of the employment contract.

4. Jury duty leave

New York Labor Law requires employers to provide employees with time off for jury duty. Under the law, employers must pay employees regular wages (up to $40) for the first three days of jury duty.

Employers are not required to pay for the rest of the days spent on jury duty. Also, they cannot penalize employees for fulfilling this civic duty under the New York Judiciary Code 519.

5. Bereavement/funeral leave

No New York State laws mandate bereavement or funeral leave for employees. Typically, all businesses allow employers to take time off, also known as bereavement leave, in the event of a death in the family or a close relative.

If an employer offers bereavement leave, all the policies regarding bereavement or funeral leave should be available to the employees.

6. Severance pay

Under the New York Labor Law, there is no provision regarding employers offering severance pay to the departing employees. Severance pay is typically offered at the employer’s discretion and is often outlined in employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, or company policies.

Employers offering severance pay must clearly outline the terms and conditions under which it is offered, such as length of service, the reason for separation, and any other relevant factors in the work agreement.

7. Paid family leave

New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks off at 67% of their wage. As per the program, the family leave covers bonding with a new child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or assisting with family matters when a family member is called to active military service.

8. Blood donation leave

New York State allows employees to take 3 hours of leave within 12 months to donate blood at the employer premises. Employers can also provide paid time off twice a year to allow employees to donate blood at a place and time set by the employer.

9. Military spouse leave

Spouses of military members are entitled to take up to ten days of unpaid leave when their spouse is on leave from deployment. This leave is designed to provide support to military families to make the most of the time when they are off duty.

10. Crime victim leave

There is no mention of any maximum or minimum time off for an employee who is a victim of certain covered felonies. Employers can provide reasonable time for victims to seek medical attention, counseling, legal assistance, or court proceedings.

11. Bone Marrow Donor leave

New York provides job-protected leave for employees donating bone marrow. Eligible employees may take up to 24 hours of leave unless allowed by the employer. Employers can also ask for verification from the physician regarding bone marrow donor leave.

12. Witness leave

New York State law makes it mandatory for employers to allow employees who are crime witnesses to attend court proceedings without facing adverse employment consequences. Employees must provide advance notice and documentation to verify their crime witness status.

13. Military leave

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that protects the employment rights of individuals who serve in the U.S. military. In addition to the USERRA, military members of New York are also protected by the New York employment laws.

Employees are entitled to be reemployed after the completion of their service, which includes:

  • 10 days from completing school, reserve drills;
  • 60 days after completing full-time or active-duty training;
  • 90 days after being discharged from active military service or annual training.

Such employees should be reinstated to their pre-service positions with the same seniority, status, and pay.

14. Voting leave

Eligible and registered employees must be provided up to two hours of paid leave to vote if they do not have sufficient time outside working hours to vote. However, employees must request this time off in advance.

New York State Holidays for 2024

New York State paid time off laws do not require employers to offer employees holiday leaves. However, it is recommended that employers pay employees working on state holidays a premium wage (although not required by law) to boost their morale.

Here is a tentative list of New York state holidays for 2024:

1. New Year’s Day – January 1, 2024 (Monday)
2. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 15, 2024 (Monday)
3. Lincoln’s Birthday – February 12, 2024 (Monday)
4. Presidents’ Day – February 19, 2024 (Monday)
5. Memorial Day – May 27, 2024 (Monday)
6. Independence Day – July 4, 2024 (Thursday)
7. Labor Day – September 2, 2024 (Monday)
8. Columbus Day – October 14, 2024 (Monday)
9. Veterans Day – November 11, 2024 (Monday)
10. Thanksgiving Day – November 28, 2024 (Thursday)
11. Christmas Day – December 25, 2024 (Wednesday)

Paid vs. Unpaid Sick Leave

In New York, as per the legislation regarding sick paid leave signed on April 3, 2020, employers are required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave to employees, depending on the size and net income of the employer.

As per the law:

  • Employers with five or more employees must provide paid time off.
  • Employers with four or fewer employees but a net income of $1 million or more must provide paid sick leave.
  • Employers with four or fewer employees and a net income of less than $1 million must provide unpaid sick time off.

Compensation to eligible employees for paid sick leave is at the regular wage rate.

New York Sick Leave Accrual

The number of paid or unpaid sick time off an employee can accrue depends on the size of the employer’s business. According to New York paid time off rules, employees accrue sick leave at one hour for every 30 hours worked.

Employers with more than 100 employees must allow employees to accrue up to 56 hours of sick leave per calendar year. Similarly, employers with less than 100 employees must allow up to 40 hours of sick leave within a year.

Employers may choose to frontload the full 40 hours at the beginning of the calendar year.

New York Sick Leave Usage

New York Sick Leave usage is categorized into sick leave and safe leave. As per the law, employees can use sick leave for various purposes related to their health or the health of family members, including:

  • Mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of the employee or a family member.
  • Diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for the employee or a family member.

A complete list of sick and safe leave usage is provided here.

New York Sick Leave Laws

Employers and employees should adhere to some rules to ensure the correct implementation of New York state paid time off laws.

Employers must provide notice to employees about sick leave rights. Furthermore, they are prohibited from retaliating against employees for using sick leave.

1. Recordkeeping requirements

Under New York Labor Laws, employers must maintain records documenting hours worked and sick leave accrued and taken by each employee for at least six years.

Employees can request this record, and if asked, employers must provide them with the information within three working days from the date of request.

2. Local New York Sick Leave Laws

Businesses in New York City must also comply with local laws in addition to state laws. Here are some important local New York sick leave laws:

  • Employers should establish clear policies for sick leave accrual, usage, and other related matters.
  • New hires must be allowed to use sick and safe leave time without a waiting period.
  • An employer can only request documentation from a doctor if an employee has taken off for more than three days.

One day of rest in seven rule

Certain employers must provide employees with at least 24 hours of rest within a work week. This includes businesses in hospitality, factories, and mercantile establishments. Section 161 of the New York State Labor Law covers a complete list of such employers.

Is maternity & paternity leave allowed in New York?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers must provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected family leave. Additionally, through the Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, eligible employees can ask for paid time off for the birth, adoption, or fostering a child.

Employers must provide adoptive parents with the same paid or unpaid time off benefits as they offer to employees for childbirth if the parents adopt a child under five years of age or 18 if the child has special needs.

New York temporary disability benefits law

New York has a Temporary Disability Benefits Law (TDBL), which provides short-term disability benefits to eligible employees who are unable to work due to pregnancy-related conditions. Employees can request up to 4 to 6 weeks off under TDBL. They are partially paid to replace lost wages during a period of disability.

Is rollover of leaves allowed?

Whether leave balances can be rolled over from one year to the next often depends on the employer’s policies. New York state law does not mandate employers to allow the rollover of unused leave. However, employers must inform employees whether and how leave balances may be carried over.

When are employers required to pay out unused paid time off?

New York has no state law where employers can withhold the payout for unused paid time off (PTO). In most cases, employees must be paid for unused paid time off upon their termination from the company.

How does quitting vs being terminated affect the right to be paid out for unused time?

Whether quitting or being terminated affects the right to be paid for unused time entirely depends on the employment contract terms. It is at the employer’s discretion to create such policies, but they must be communicated and documented when hiring the employee.

How should employers and employees handle disputes over paid time off?

Disputes over paid time off can arise when there is a disagreement between an employer and an employee regarding the entitlement or amount of paid time off. Firstly, both parties must carefully read the policies, contracts, and practices regarding paid time off. If any parties fail to comply, it will affect their rights.

Ultimately, it is best to hire an attorney to look into legal prospects if disputes are not resolved.

How can Truein help with time-off management?

Truein is a cloud-based time and attendance management solution that offers robust leave management features. Providing a comprehensive leave management system can be crucial in implementing and adhering to New York PTO law.

Truein has over 70 customizable policy templates that employers can set up and configure for various leave policies, including those related to sick leave. Regardless of your business type and size, you can use Truein to ensure that your leave management policies align with the local and federal rules and regulations.

Furthermore, it automates leave tracking, ensuring accurate leave accruals. Employees can easily request leaves using the Truein app on their phones. Facilitating the submission and approval of time-off requests, streamlines the process and reduces administrative burdens.

By leveraging the features of Truein, employers can enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and ensure compliance with time-off policies.

Conclusion

New York state paid time off laws are multifaceted as they are designed to protect the rights of employees. At the same time, they provide employers with a structured approach to managing leaves.

With a thorough understanding of New York state PTO laws and leveraging tools like Truein, both employers and employees can foster positive time-off management that adheres to labor laws.

FAQs

1. Who is eligible for paid time off in New York?

The eligibility criteria for paid time off in New York vary based on factors such as employment status, industry, and the specific type of leave.

2. How is paid time off accrued in New York?

Accrual of paid time off is often based on the length of an employee’s service and the employer’s policies. For instance, most private sector employees accrue one hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked.

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