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Section 196-B Sick leave requirements

Labor (LAB)

1. Every employer shall be required to provide its employees with sick leave as follows:

  a. For employers with four or fewer employees in any calendar year, each employee shall be provided with up to forty hours of unpaid sick leave in each calendar year; provided, however, an employer that employs four or fewer employees in any calendar year and that has a net income of greater than one million dollars in the previous tax year shall provide each employee with up to forty hours of paid sick leave pursuant to this section;

  b. For employers with between five and ninety-nine employees in any calendar year, each employee shall be provided with up to forty hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year; and

  c. For employers with one hundred or more employees in any calendar year, each employee shall be provided with up to fifty-six hours of paid sick leave each calendar year.

  For purposes of determining the number of employees pursuant to this subdivision, a calendar year shall mean the twelve-month period from January first through December thirty-first. For all other purposes, a calendar year shall either mean the twelve-month period from January first through December thirty-first, or a regular and consecutive twelve-month period, as determined by an employer.

  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or prevent an employer from providing an amount of sick leave, paid or unpaid, which is in excess of the requirements set forth in subdivision one of this section, or from adopting a paid leave policy that provides additional benefits to employees. An employer may elect to provide its employees with the total amount of sick leave required to fulfill its obligations pursuant to subdivision one of this section at the beginning of the calendar year, provided, however that no employer shall be permitted to reduce or revoke any such sick leave based on the number of hours actually worked by an employee during the calendar year if such employer elects pursuant to this subdivision.

  3. Employees shall accrue sick leave at a rate of not less than one hour per every thirty hours worked, beginning at the commencement of employment or the effective date of this section, whichever is later, subject to the use and accrual limitations set forth in this section.

  4. a. On and after January first, two thousand twenty-one and upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer shall provide accrued sick leave for the following purposes:

  (i) for a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of such employee or such employee's family member, regardless of whether such illness, injury, or health condition has been diagnosed or requires medical care at the time that such employee requests such leave;

  (ii) for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of, or need for medical diagnosis of, or preventive care for, such employee or such employee's family member; or

  (iii) for an absence from work due to any of the following reasons when the employee or employee's family member has been the victim of domestic violence pursuant to subdivision thirty-four of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law, a family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking:

  (a) to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other services program;

  (b) to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee's family members;

  (c) to meet with an attorney or other social services provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding;

  (d) to file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;

  (e) to meet with a district attorney's office;

  (f) to enroll children in a new school; or

  (g) to take any other actions necessary to ensure the health or safety of the employee or the employee's family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

  For purposes of this subdivision, the reasons outlined above in subparagraph (a) through (g) must be related to the domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking. Provided further that a person who has committed such domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking shall not be eligible for leave under this subdivision for situations in which the person committed such offense and was not a victim, notwithstanding any family relationship.

  b. For purposes of this section, "family member" shall mean an employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent; and the child or parent of an employee's spouse or domestic partner. "Parent" shall mean a biological, foster, step- or adoptive parent, or a legal guardian of an employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child. "Child" shall mean a biological, adopted or foster child, a legal ward, or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis.

  5. a. An employer may not require the disclosure of confidential information relating to a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of such employee or such employee's family member, or information relating to absence from work due to domestic violence, a sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking, as a condition of providing sick leave pursuant to this section.

  b. An employer may set a reasonable minimum increment for the use of sick leave which shall not exceed four hours. Employees shall receive compensation at his or her regular rate of pay, or the applicable minimum wage established pursuant to section six hundred fifty-two of this chapter, whichever is greater, for the use of paid sick leave.

  6. An employee's unused sick leave shall be carried over to the following calendar year, provided, however, that: (i) an employer with fewer than one hundred employees may limit the use of sick leave to forty hours per calendar year; and (ii) an employer with one hundred or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to fifty-six hours per calendar year. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an employer to pay an employee for unused sick leave upon such employee's termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

  7. No employer or his or her agent, or the officer or agent of any corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, or any other person, shall discharge, threaten, penalize, or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee because such employee has exercised his or her rights afforded under this section, including, but not limited to, requesting sick leave and using sick leave, consistent with the provisions of section two hundred fifteen of this chapter.

  8. An employer shall not be required to provide any additional sick leave pursuant to this section if the employer has adopted a sick leave policy or time off policy that provides employees with an amount of leave which meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in subdivision one of this section and satisfies the accrual, carryover, and use requirements of this section.

  9. Nothing in this section shall be construed to: a. prohibit a collective bargaining agreement entered into, on or after the effective date of this section from, in lieu of the leave provided for in this section, providing a comparable benefit for the employees covered by such agreement in the form of paid days off; such paid days off shall be in the form of leave, compensation, other employee benefits, or some combination thereof; or

  b. impede, infringe, or diminish the ability of a certified collective bargaining agent to negotiate the terms and conditions of sick leave different from the provisions of this section.

  Provided, however, that in the case of either paragraph a or b of this subdivision, the agreement must specifically acknowledge the provisions of this section.

  10. Upon return to work following any sick leave taken pursuant to this section, an employee shall be restored by his or her employer to the position of employment held by such employee prior to any sick leave taken pursuant to this section with the same pay and other terms and conditions of employment.

  11. Upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer shall provide a summary of the amounts of sick leave accrued and used by such employee in the current calendar year and/or any previous calendar year. The employer shall provide such information to the employee within three business days of such request.

  12. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a city with a population of one million or more from enacting and enforcing local laws or ordinances which meet or exceed the standard or requirements for minimum hour and use set forth in this section, as determined by the commissioner. Any paid sick leave benefits provided by a sick leave program enforced by a municipal corporation in effect as of the effective date of this section shall not be diminished or limited as a result of the enactment of this section.

  13. The commissioner shall have authority to adopt regulations and issue guidance to effectuate any of the provisions of this section. Employers shall comply with regulations and guidance promulgated by the commissioner for this purpose which may include but are not limited to standards for the accrual, use, payment, and employee eligibility of sick leave.

  14. The department shall conduct a public awareness outreach campaign which shall include making information available on its website and otherwise informing employers and employees of the provisions of this section.

  * NB Effective September 30, 2020