As employers are well aware by now, New York enacted statewide paid sick leave requirements for employers, which took effect on September 30, 2020. We provided an overview of requirements for the new law here. Under the law, New York employers must provide all employees with sick leave and grant employees the ability to use accrued sick time starting January 1, 2021. The amount of sick leave an employer must provide under the law varies depending on an employer’s size and net income.
Recently, New York State issued much anticipated guidance and in a seven page FAQ document regarding the State’s new paid sick leave law. That guidance can be found here.
Although the guidance doesn’t answer every single question employers will have, the FAQs provide clarification as to Definitions, Accruals, Permitted Uses, Who is Eligible, Leave Increments, Rate of Pay, Alternative Accrual System, and Collective Bargaining Agreement and Other Leave Laws, Employee Rights & Protections, and Miscellaneous Questions.
We have excerpted below a few key FAQs for employers to consider as they continue to work through COVID-19 and employers consider necessary revisions to their leave policies:
If employers choose an accrual based method for calculating leave under the NYPSL, they should be aware that out of state telework may impact an employee’s entitlement. The FAQs suggest that employees are only eligible to accrue sick leave based on hours worked while physically within the state of New York:
DOES AN EMPLOYER HAVE TO PROVIDE SICK LEAVE TO EMPLOYEES WHO TELECOMMUTE OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK STATE?
Employees who telecommute are covered by the law only for the hours when they are physically working in New York State, even if the employer is physically located outside New York State.
With many employees are already working from home, it is also important to note that, under the new law employers cannot require employees to telecommute in lieu of taking sick leave:
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