Legal Alert: Westchester Implements New Earned Sick Leave Law Effective April 10

Effective April 10, 2019, the new Westchester Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL) will require employers to provide sick leave time to employees who work in Westchester County, NY. Any employee who works in Westchester County for more than 80 hours per calendar year is entitled to accrue 1 hour of sick leave time for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of 40 hours of sick leave time per calendar year.  If the employer has more than 5 employees (located anywhere in the United States, not just in Westchester County), sick leave time must be paid.  Employers with fewer than 5 employees must provide the same amount of sick leave time to employees, but the time can be unpaid.

ESLL time can be used for the care of an employee’s or a family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, medical diagnosis, care or treatment of such condition and/or preventative medical care. “Family member” has an expansive definition and includes a child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, domestic partner or household member.

In advance of April 10, employers who do not currently offer sick days, or PTO days that can be used for absences due to illness, should implement new policies to comply with this new law.  Organizations that already have sick day or PTO policies in place should review their policies to ensure compliance with the new law. The law also requires employers to provide employees a copy of the law and written notice of how it applies to them within 90 days of the law’s effective date (i.e., July 9, 2019). All new hires must be given the same documentation upon hire. Employers must also post a copy of the law in a conspicuous location in the workplace.

If you have questions, please contact the Pro Bono Partnership White Plains office at 914-328-0674.