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New paid sick leave benefits for New Yorkers

Can be used for personal illness, care for sick family member, or domestic abuse victims
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Posted at 8:46 AM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 08:46:34-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New Yorkers have access to new paid sick leave benefits beginning January 1st.

The leave can be used for a personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to address safety needs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking.

Workers earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours they work. The legislation is retroactive to September 30, 2020.

The new law also requires businesses to provide different levels of sick leave per year depending on their size:

  • Businesses with at least 100 employees must provide up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave
  • Businesses with five to 99 employees must provide up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave
  • Businesses with fewer than five employees but have a net income of more than $1 million must provide up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave
  • Businesses with fewer than five employees and have a net income of less than $1 million must provide up to five days (40 hours) of unpaid sick leave

Prior to this law, roughly 1.3 million New Yorkers did not have access to paid sick leave. Nearly 1 in 4 workers reported being fired or being threatened with termination for taking sick time.

"Even before the coronavirus pandemic, we knew that no one should have to make the unimaginable choice between keeping their job or caring for themselves or a loved one. This public health crisis has put that need in even greater relief. Now, as we continue to beat back COVID and build a stronger New York, we are expanding this fundamental right to all New Yorkers. New York has long championed workers' rights, and this strongest-in-the-nation paid sick leave law will help millions of our neighbors stay healthy—a boon for both businesses' bottom line and New Yorkers' well-being."
Governor Andrew Cuomo