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May 16, 2019
2019-0943

New York, County of Westchester mandates paid sick leave starting July 10, 2019

The county of Westchester, New York recently passed an ordinance that, effective July 10, 2019, requires employers of five or more employees operating in the county to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide unpaid sick leave to employees.

Paid sick leave provisions

Employers with five or more employees must provide a minimum of 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to their employees by allowing them to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide 40 hours per year of unpaid leave.

The Earned Sick Leave Law does not cover: employees who work 80 hours or less in a calendar year; participants in a work experience program established by a social services district; participants in a work study program under 42 U.S.C. Section 2753; or employees compensated by or through qualified scholarships under 26 U.S.C. Section 117.

Earned paid sick leave must begin accruing as of July 10, 2019, or on the date of hire, whichever occurs later. Employers may choose to "front-load" 40 hours of paid sick leave at the beginning of each year. Earned sick leave that has not been used can be carried over to the following year, provided that the maximum required amount of sick leave for any given year remains at 40 hours. An employer may delay new employees' ability to use earned sick time until they have worked for the employer for 90 days.

The employer must pay earned paid sick time in an amount equal to what the employee would have earned if the employee had worked the scheduled work time.

When there is a separation from employment and the employee is rehired within nine months of separation by the same employer, previously accrued earned sick time that was not used must be reinstated. When one employer is succeeded by another employer, all employees of the original employer who remain employed by the successor employer are entitled to all the unused earned sick time they accrued when employed by the original employer.

Employers must give employees a copy of the Earned Sick Leave Law and written notice of how the law applies to them. Employers must also display a copy of the Earned Sick Leave Law and a poster in English, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the county in a conspicuous location accessible to employees.

An employer that willfully violates the notice and posting requirements may be subject to a civil fine of up to $500.00 for each separate offense.

Go to the county's website for more information, including frequently asked questions by employers. Frequently asked questions by employees can be found here.

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Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
 
Workforce Advisory Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kenneth Hausser (kenneth.hausser@ey.com)
   • Debera Salam (debera.salam@ey.com)

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