As of September 30, 2020, employees are entitled to accrue paid sick leave under the New York Sick Leave Law, known as Labor Law 196-b.

Employees are now entitled to accrue sick leave at a rate of not less than 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, starting September 30, 2020 or the employee’s date of hire, whichever is later. All employers with 5 or more employees will be required to provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave, though this number varies according to the size of the employer.

According to the Sick Leave Law, employees can begin using their accrued sick time starting on January 1, 2021, for themselves or for their family members.

Additionally, the Sick Leave Law allows employees to take leave as necessary due to domestic violence, including time needed to access services, consult with an attorney, or anything else to protect themselves and their families from harm. New York joins almost a dozen other states and Washington D.C. in requiring employers to provide leave for people experiencing domestic violence.

Contact us at 845-218-1288 if you have questions about the Sick Leave law, or believe your rights have been violated.


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On April 28, 2020, the Dutchess County Supreme Court issued a Decision & Order, ruling in favor of an employee of the Town of Pleasant Valley, who brought an Article 78 proceeding to challenge her termination by the Town and its former Supervisor. In the Decision, the Court denied the Town's motion to dismiss in its entirety.

The employee, a former secretary and bookkeeper/controller, alleges she was wrongfully terminated by the Town Supervisor without a vote by the Town Board, and for reasons that are arbitrary and capricious. After her termination, at least one Town Board member made false and stigmatizing statements at a public meeting about the employee, when she was not present. The Court concluded that she may be entitled to a full name-clearing hearing, writing: "[T]he statements made against petitioner at the August 8, 2019 public Town Board meeting attack her moral character, accuse her of [wrong]doing and possible criminality. These statements "are stigmatizing in the constitutional sense because of their inevitable effect of foreclosing employment opportunities."

Laura Wong-Pan, Esq., represents the employee.

The Court's Decision & Order in the matter of O'Connor v. Town of Pleasant Valley can be accessed here.

(c) 2020 Law Office of Laura Wong-Pan PLLC. Attorney advertising.

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  • Laura Matlow Wong-Pan

A series of emergency Federal and State employment-related laws and Executive Orders have been passed that deal with leave from work due to business closure, orders of quarantine or isolation, school closures, illness, and need to care for an ill family member.

From the Federal Government, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements, which includes the ability to qualify for up to 12 weeks of leave under the expanded Family and Medical Leave Act. The new provisions apply from April 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020. More detailed information is found here.

On March 26, 2020, the Department of Labor provided additional guidance regarding how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be implemented. As stated in that guidance, employees may be asked to provide documentation to substantiate the request for the absence, including a copy of the quarantine or isolation order, or written statement from a health care provider, or written notice of the closure of the school or child care facility where the employee's child attends. The Department will be issuing implementing regulations sometime in the near future. The guidance is found here.

New York State Paid Sick Leave is also now available to certain employees for illnesses related to the coronavirus, or when employees are under an order of quarantine or isolation, or the closure of a school or child care facility where the employee's minor child(ren) attends. Private employers with more than 100 employees and all public sector employers must provide 14 days paid sick leave. Employers with between 11-99 employees, or 10 or fewer employees plus 2019 net income over $1 million, must provide 5 days paid sick leave. For more information, click here.

Also, under New York State’s paid family leave law, employees may be able to access up to 10 weeks of partial wage replacement to care for a close family member with a serious health condition. Information about the paid family leave law is found here.

If you have any questions, contact Law Office of Laura Wong-Pan PLLC at 845-218-1288.

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