NYC Expanding Paid Sick Leave Coverage

The city council approved legislation that provides paid sick leave coverage for all businesses of five or more employees – up from 15 – and Mayor Bill de Blasio said he'll sign it.

New York City's city council voted Feb. 26 to expand the Earned Sick Time Act. Paid sick leave was enacted under Local Law 46 of 2013; the new legislation provides paid sick leave coverage for all businesses of five or more employees – up from 15. Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement saying he'll sign it.

"Today the City Council made history," he said. "Because of the work of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and her colleagues, half a million more New Yorkers will soon have the dignity and security that come with paid sick leave. Under this law, thousands of hardworking New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between taking a sick day or earning a paycheck – and thousands of parents will no longer be forced to pick between caring for a sick child and earning enough to provide for them. From waitresses and dish washers to store clerks and car wash workers, New Yorkers across the five boroughs will finally have legal protection to a basic right that so many of us take for granted each day – and employers will benefit from a stronger and healthier workforce. The paid sick leave legislation is the first law I will have the privilege of signing as mayor, and it represents the first of many steps our city will take toward creating one New York, where everyone rises together."

The city council's website says the increased coverage applies to 355,000 more workers in the city. The legislation "broadens the definition of 'family member' for which sick time can be used to include grandchildren, grandparents and siblings. The bill also includes a two-year statute of limitations to file a complaint (up from nine months) and imposes a three-year record keeping requirement (up from two years)," it states.

This legislation includes a six-month grace period for a violation that applies to the newly covered businesses.

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