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Understanding paid sick leave in New York

It is estimated that 90 percent of American workers come to work when sick. While many companies offer workers some sort of paid time off, certain state and local governments mandate when employers must provide paid sick leave. In New York City, companies with more than five employees must offer employees up to 40 hours a year in paid sick leave.

Companies that have less than five employees must provide employees with 40 hours a year in unpaid sick leave. Under New York City law, workers accrue one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Leave can be used if an employee is injured or for any type of physical or mental health needs. It can also be used to help a family member recover from injury. A family member is defined as domestic partners, stepchildren or other immediate family members, such as a sibling or parent.

Leave may also be used if the business is closed or if an employee needs to care for a child because his or her school is closed. Under the law, all employees are covered, and domestic workers may qualify for sick leave after one year on the job. Employers may choose to make their paid leave policy more generous than state law if they so desire.

Although not all workers are guaranteed paid sick leave, other laws, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, may enable them to take leave without fear of employee retaliation. If retaliation does occur, it may be worthwhile to pursue legal action with the help of an employment law attorney. An attorney may be able to win back pay and other benefits for employees who may have been denied overtime.

Source: Inc, "Everything You Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave", Suzanne Lucas , December 08, 2014

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