Paid Family Leave Benefits Kick In Today Across New York State

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ALBANY – Paid Family Leave benefits go into effect today across New York State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier in the week that New Yorkers can begin using sick leave benefits starting Jan. 1, 2021.

This legislation secures paid sick leave for workers at medium and large businesses and paid or unpaid leave for small businesses, depending on an employer’s net income.

New Yorkers can now use guaranteed sick leave to recover from an illness, care for a sick family member or address safety needs if they or a family member are the victim of the following:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Human trafficking

“Even before the coronavirus pandemic, we knew that no one should have to make the unimaginable choice between keeping their job or caring for themselves or a loved one. This public health crisis has put that need in even greater relief. Now, as we continue to beat back COVID and build a stronger New York, we are expanding this fundamental right to all New Yorkers. New York has long championed workers’ rights, and this strongest-in-the-nation paid sick leave law will help millions of our neighbors stay healthy—a boon for both businesses’ bottom line and New Yorkers’ well-being.” NYS GOV CUOMO

New Yorkers earn sick leave based on hours they work, earning one hour of leave for every 30 hours they work. It is retroactive to Sept. 30, 2020.

New York’s new law requires businesses to provide different levels of sick levels depending on their size:

  • Businesses with 100 or more employees: Must provide up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave per year
  • Businesses with five to 99 employees: Must provide up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year
  • Businesses with fewer than five employees, but a net income of more than $1 million: Must provide up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year
  • Smaller businesses with fewer than five employees and a net income of less than $1 million: Must provide up to five days (40 hours) of unpaid sick leave. Those already providing paid sick leave can continue to do so.

Prior to this law, approximately 1.3 million New Yorkers didn’t have access to paid sick leave. Nearly one-in-four workers had reported being fired or threatened with termination for taking sick time.


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