New York City is expected to join the ranks of the growing number of jurisdictions which require private sector employers to provide paid sick days to employees. The legislation, which is expected to be passed shortly by the City Council, reflects a compromise between advocates for such legislation, opponents within the business community and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose refusal to bring the bill to the Council floor for a vote was being leveraged as a campaigning point by other mayoral candidates. Key components of the proposed legislation are as follows:
· The legislation would mandate that employers with at least 15 employees eventually provide full-time employees with 5 paid days a year for absences due to illness.
· However, for 18 months from the effective date of Spring 2014, it appears the mandate would only apply to employers with 20 or more employees.
· Further, implementation would be delayed if the city’s economy, as measured by a financial index maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, erodes.
· Even businesses not covered by the paid leave requirement would be obligated to provide 5 unpaid days per year.
· Retaliation against employees who use paid or unpaid leave provided by the law would be prohibited.
While Mayor Bloomberg is still expected to veto this legislative compromise, the City Council is expected to have enough votes to override his veto, as it recently did with respect to the City’s new law prohibiting employment discrimination against the unemployed.
We will provide further updates as they are available.