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Q4 Compliance Update

As we enter the final quarter of 2020, now is a good time to check-in and provide some legislative updates as we start planning for any potential policy changes within our employee handbooks for 2021.

Below are some reforms to keep in mind:

NYS Paid Family leave [Effective January 2021]

  • The weekly benefit amount increases from 60% to 67%.

· This percentage caps at the state’s average weekly wage

  • The amount of leave time increases from 10 weeks to 12 weeks

  • The max annual contribution paid increases from $196.73 to $385.34 (effectively increasing the employee contribution rate from .27% per pay period to .51% per pay period).

  • For more information, please refer here.

Time off to Vote [effective April 2020]

  • As part of S.7505-B/A.9505-B; Part AAA, if a registered voter does not have sufficient time outside of their scheduled working hours, at any election, they may, without loss of pay for up to two [reduced from three] hours, request time off to vote.

  • For more information, please refer here.

NY State Paid Sick Leave [effective September 2020]

Employees within NY State will be eligible to use accrued sick leave starting 1/1/21 at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.

  • Employees can choose to use this time to care for the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition or of the employee’s “family member;” for diagnosis or care of medical issues; or for absences related to domestic violence, sexual offenses, stalking and/or human trafficking.

  • Employers can set reasonable minimum increments of use, not to exceed 4 hours

  • Unused sick leave shall be carried over into the following calendar year. Employers can limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours (employers of less than 100) or 56 hours per year (employers of 100 or more.)

  • Employers are prohibited from discriminating against or taking any retaliatory action against any employee exercising their rights under this law

  • Upon return to work following any sick leave, an employee shall be restored to the position held by such employee prior to any sick leave taken with the same pay and other terms and conditions of employment.

Note: Employers with leave policies that provide the amount of sick time required under this statute are not required to provide additional sick leave as long as the policy satisfies the accrual, carryover, and use requirements and may be used in the same way as proscribed in the statute.

As such, in New York City, the existing sick/safe leave law aligns with the State requirements with a few additions in that employers in NYC now must:

  • Note on employee paystubs every pay period the amounts of re-accrued, used, and total balance of sick leave

  • Remove the 80-hour threshold for eligibility (we suggest to check employee manual/current policy to remove this)

  • Reimburse employees for any fees associated with obtaining documentation (e.g., fees charged by medical providers)

  • Notify the general policies changes to employees within 30 days (by Oct. 30, 2020)

  • For more information and employer income thresholds, please refer here and the NY State Senate legislation page here.

If you have any questions about the aforementioned items, please do not hesitate to reach out to your HR representative.

We hope that these updates will serve as not just a requirement, but as a platform from which we, as employers, can work proactively and mindfully to further promote a supportive working environment. Let’s bring this year home!

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