Amended NYC Paid Sick Leave Law Now in Effect

Oct 2, 2020 | Domestic Workers' Rights, Labor Laws


The amended NYC Paid Sick Leave Law provides nannies, housekeepers, and other domestic workers with 40 hours of paid safe and sick leave and creates other responsibilities for household employers.

Update: New York City’s paid sick leave law was amended to require employers to provide workers who are parents or legal guardians of a child with four hours of paid COVID-19 child vaccination time, per injection and per child. The amendment became effective on December 24, 2021, and is retroactive to November 2, 2021. An employee who is a parent may use child vaccination leave to either accompany the child to get a COVID-19 vaccine injection or care for their child who is experiencing temporary side effects from vaccination.

To be eligible, the employee’s child must be under 18, or a child of any age who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. Child vaccination leave is in addition to any existing sick leave provided to the worker. An employer cannot require their workers to work additional hours to make up for the time missed. However, employers may require up to seven days of “reasonable notice” of the need to use child vaccination leave. An employer can also request reasonable documentation showing the child’s receipt of the COVID-19 vaccination injection within seven days of use of the leave. Child vaccination leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

New York City has amended its Paid Safe and Sick Time Act (also referred to as the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act or ESSTA) to align with the state’s paid sick leave law, which was passed earlier in the year. Both the amendments to the NYC Paid Sick Leave Law and the accrual and notice portions of the state law took effect on Sept. 30, 2020.

The Paid Sick Leave amendments require household employers to:

  • provide nannies, housekeepers, and other domestic workers with 40 hours of paid safe and sick leave
  • allow employees to use safe and sick leave as it is accrued;
  • reimburse employees who must pay for required documentation after three consecutive workdays of leave;
  • list on employees’ paystubs (or any document issued each pay period):
    • amounts of accrued and used sick and safe leave during the pay period
    • total balance of accrued safe and sick leave

Employers who fail to adhere to the reporting requirements may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $50 for each employee who was not given appropriate notice.

The law’s amendments also expand the scope of prohibited retaliation under the law by prohibiting any “adverse action” taken by an employer that is intended to penalize or deter their employee from exercising their rights to paid safe and sick leave. The law now defines “adverse action” to include “threats, intimidation, discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, harassment, discrimination, reduction in hours or pay, informing another employer of an employee’s exercise of rights under [ESSTA], blacklisting, and maintenance or application of an absence control policy that counts protected leave for safe/sick time as an absence that may lead to or result in an adverse action.”

The amendments also specify that leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate, but no less than the highest applicable minimum wage or contract rate.

The Paid Sick Leave changes also eliminate:

  • the 80-hour work requirement for leave eligibility; and
  • the 120-day waiting period for taking leave (meaning employees can access accrued leave immediately)

Employees who are newly eligible for certain leave benefits under the amendments must wait until Jan. 1, 2021, for those benefits to apply.

Other key amendments include expanded employer notice and recordkeeping rules, changed enforcement provisions, additional penalties, and the directive that any state law standard exceeding the city’s Paid Sick Leave Law standard be incorporated in the Paid Sick Leave Law.

Nannies, housekeepers, and other domestic workers who work directly for individual household employers must receive written notice from their employer when they begin employment. The notice must be provided in English, and if available, the employee’s primary language.

Download an Employee Notice of Rights (The notice is currently available in English with additional languages coming soon.)

GTM can help

Trying to figure out all of your obligations and responsibilities as a household employer? Give us a call at (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert. We’ll answer all your questions and go over everything you need to do to employ someone in your home the right way. We can also show you how GTM Payroll Services can make it easy and hassle-free.

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