Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law Impacts Household Employers

Apr 17, 2019 | Domestic Workers' Rights, Labor Laws

westchester county earned sick leave law

The Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law applies to all businesses in the county including families who have employees working in their homes.

Westchester County’s Earned Sick Leave law took effect on April 10, 2019. Eligible employees can take sick leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons.

This law applies to household employees provided they meet coverage requirements.

Who is covered by Westchester County’s Earned Sick Leave Law?

All full-time and part-time employees who work at least 80 hours per year in Westchester County are eligible. This includes nannies, housekeepers, senior caregivers, and other domestic workers.

How can employees use this sick leave?

Employees can use sick leave for their own or a family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care or treatment for injuries, illnesses, and health conditions; and/or preventative care. Sick leave can also be used if the daycare or school attended by an employee’s child is closed due to a public health emergency.

Who is considered an employee’s family member?

Family members include an employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent; and the child or parent of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner or household member.

What is the accrual rate?

Household employees can earn sick leave at a rate of one hour for every seven days worked, up to two days per calendar year.

Does sick leave need to be paid?

Regardless of how many household workers you employ, leave must be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay.

Can employees carry over unused sick leave into the following year?

Employees must be allowed to roll over unused sick leave. However, the employer can cap the amount of sick leave used at 40 hours per calendar year.

If you already provide employees with paid time off, have you satisfied the new law’s employer obligations?

If you:

  • offer your employees paid time off (may include personal, sick and/or vacation) that is equal to or greater than what’s required by the new law and
  • this paid time off can be used for the same purposes as provided by the new law

then that paid time off can be used to satisfy your obligation.

What are the notice and recordkeeping requirements?

You’ll need to provide new employees and current workers with:

This notice needs to be given to the employee within 90 days of the law’s effective date or at the start of employment, whichever is later. Also, you’ll need to display a copy of the law and a notice of rights poster (PDF) in a conspicuous location accessible to employees.

You’ll be required to maintain records of hours worked and sick hours accrued and used for a period of three years.

Where can I get more information about the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law?

Visit Westchester County’s Earned Sick Leave Law web page or contact Westchester County at (914) 995-2000.

GTM Payroll Services’ clients can also contact us at (800) 929-9213 or [email protected] with any questions.

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