The new Westchester County, New York Earned Sick Leave Law (WCESLL) went into effect on April 10, 2019. Employers with five or more employees are now required to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year.
Who can use it?
The law defines an employee as “any person employed for hire by an employer in any employment within Westchester County for more than 80 hours in a calendar year who performs work on a full-time or part-time basis.”
When can employees use it?
Employees are permitted to utilize the paid sick leave time for a variety of reasons, including:
- An employee’s or family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
- An employee’s or family member’s need for diagnosis, care or treatment of mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
- To care for a family member who needs preventative medical care
- To care for a family member when public health authorities have determined that the family member’s presence in the community may endanger the wellbeing of others
- The closure of an employer’s place of business or of their child’s daycare or school due to a public health emergency
Notice and Documentation to Employer
When possible, employees must in good faith attempt to provide advance notice to the employer. Also, employees must try to schedule the paid sick leave in a time or way that does not unreasonably disrupt an employer’s operations.
Employers may require employees to provide written documentation if the leave extends past three consecutive days.
Employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours. Employees may start accruing paid sick leave hours at the start of employment or 90 days after WCESLL’s effective date, July 9, 2019, whichever is later. These hours can be carried over to the next year, however, employees will still only be allowed to accrue 40 hours of paid sick leave at one time.
Posting and Notice Requirement
Employers must provide employees with a copy of WCESLL at the start of employment or 90 days after the effective date of WCESLL (July 9, 2019), whichever is later.
Also, employers are required to display a copy of WCESLL in English, Spanish and any other language required by Westchester County. The posting must be displayed in a conspicuous location.