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Small Employers & Paid Sick Leave: NY Ties Loose Ends Surrounding Leave Benefits

Owning a small business in New York can be difficult and confusing at this time. From rents and leases to salaries and WFH protocols, several issues have been flying around and many companies have had to think creatively to adapt and come out on top of this global crisis.

New York State has offered some guidance on one pertinent issue - paid work leave. Here’s a brief summary on the FAQs that have been answered on their new paid sick leave (PSL) website.

How much PSL?

Small employers must provide paid sick leave up to 40 hours if net income is more than $1 million. If you make less than a million dollars, then you will need to provide only unpaid sick leave.

How is leave accrued?

Sick leave can be earned at the rate of at least one hour per every 30 working hours. Employees will have started accruing sick leave since September 30, 2020. The sick leave days will become available for use on January 1, 2021.

Who is eligible for PSL?

All employees who physically work for you in or from New York (even if you’re based out of NY) are covered under the PSL law. This includes seasonal, part-time, and domestic workers in all your business locations/branches, regardless of their immigration status.

Points to Note:

  1. Requiring a notice of absence prior to your employees’ PSL is completely up to you - but it’s not required by law.

  2. Using safe leave (i.e., for any reason that impacts the employee’s health or that of a family member in their household) does not require police reports or convictions.

  3. The use of PSL on paid family leave by any employee can be allowed at your discretion - just realize that this means you might end up paying their total wages.

There’s a lot to keep in mind right now as you try to get your business back to normal work-mode. Making sure you have enough safety nets in place has never been more crucial. Insurance can go a long way in ensuring you’ve got most of your bases covered, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on more pressing matters.

For more information on insurance for your small business, visit NY Small Health.


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