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Legislation | Worker health and wellness | State laws

Workers in NYC to get paid sick leave

July 9, 2013

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New York – Certain workers in New York City who do not have paid sick time will soon have access to it under a new law.

The Earned Sick Time Act mandates that, beginning April 1, 2014, private-sector employers with 20 or more employees must provide at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employees are allowed to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick time each year, and employees at smaller businesses will be allowed to take up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave without fear of being fired. Starting on Oct. 1, 2015, employers with 15 or more employees must provide similar paid sick time.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the bill on June 6, stating it would have “deleterious effects” on businesses and nonprofit organizations and harm the city’s economy. In a 47-4 vote, the city council overturned the mayor’s veto and the bill became law on June 27.

Employees who work while sick can cost employers billions of dollars annually from lost productivity and the infection of co-workers, according to Democrats pushing legislation to mandate paid sick time nationally.