Eligible New York City employees may use paid time off for safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member and to seek assistance or take safety measures if the employee or their family member is a victim of any act or threat of domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking, or human trafficking.  The new safe leave amendments to the law do not require employers to offer additional leave time, but rather require employers to allow leave for these additional safety-related reasons.  If foreseeable, employers may require up to seven days advance notice of safe or sick leave.  If the leave is unforeseeable, notice must be given by the employee as soon as practicable.


Who Must Comply:

  • All private and non-profit employers must provide safe and sick leave.
  • Government agencies are exempt from the law.
  • Employers with five or more employees who are employed more than 80 hours a calendar year in New York City must provide paid sick leave.
  • Employers with one to four employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City must provide unpaid sick leave.
  • Employers located outside New York City must provide sick leave to employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City.


The Following Employees are not Eligible for Safe or Sick Leave:

  • Employees who work 80 hours or less a calendar year;
  • Students in federal work study programs;
  • Employees whose work is compensated by qualified scholarship programs;
  • Employees of government agencies;
  • Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, audiologists who are licensed by the New York State Department of Education if they call in for work assignments at will, determine their own work schedule, have the ability to reject or accept any assignment referred to them, and are paid an average hourly wage, which is at least four times the federal minimum wage;
  • Independent contractors who do not meet the definition of an employee under New York State Labor Law;
  • Participants in Work Experience Programs;
  • Certain employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement. For employees in the construction or grocery industry covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the law does not apply if the agreement expressly waives the law’s provisions. For guidance on collective bargaining agreements, read Frequently Asked Questions at


Employer Action Items:

  • Ensure your current policy meets or exceeds the new law and ensure employer policies/handbooks are updated to reflect the safe time amendments.
  • Provide employees with a written notice of the right to safe and sick leave by June 4, 2018.
  • Comply with the anti-retaliation provisions of the law (employers cannot retaliate against employees for requesting or using safe and sick leave).
  • Keep and maintain records documenting compliance with the law for at least three years.
  • Keep any information related to the employee’s reasons for using safe and sick leave confidential.


Additional Resources:

Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

Training Presentation

Notice of Employee Rights

What Employers Need to Know

Rules for Safe and Sick Leave Policies


Answers to Employer Questions

Online Live Chat, available at


Call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) and ask for information about Paid Safe and Sick Leave


The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

Joanna Castillo– Joanna is the Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Joanna enjoys live music, college football, travel, and walking her dog in Golden Gate Park.