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A Better Balance Blog

The blog where we discuss latest updates to work/family legal issues.

It’s Final: 1.2 Million Workers in NYC Will Start Earning Paid Sick Time on April 1!

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Feb 26 in Paid Sick Leave

This afternoon, the New York City Council voted 46-5 to significantly expand and strengthen the Earned Sick Time Act that was originally passed by the Council in May. The expanded law will go into effect on April 1, 2014.

The Earned Sick Time Act will have a tremendous effect in New York City. The law will provide paid sick time to nearly 1.2 million workers in New York City who had no sick time before. Even more broadly, the law creates a legal right to a minimum amount of sick time for personal or family care that an employer cannot reduce or withdraw for 3.4 million private sector workers in New York City. For more information on the expanded Earned Sick Time Act, see our one-page overview of the law.

We also have paid sick days resources for both workers and employers in NYC, including a brochure that describes the law (contact us at 212-430-5982 if you would like us to send you copies!) and answers to frequently asked questions.

The expansion bill passed today makes several changes to the original law, including:

  • Providing up to 40 hours of paid sick time to all workers in businesses with 5 or more employees, include manufacturing workers (who were excluded in the original bill); workers in smaller businesses will be able to earn up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time a year to care for themselves or an ill loved one.
  • Expanding the list of relatives for whom sick time can be taken to include grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings.
  • Allowing the city to proactively enforce the law by initiating its own investigations.
  • Increasing the time in which workers can file complaints to two years.

Although the Earned Sick Time Act will go into effect on April 1, there is much more to do! A Better Balance will engage in the following work:

  • We will partner with officials to draft comprehensive rules and regulations on the law.
  • We will undertake a significant outreach effort to educate workers about their rights under the law, and we will provide information to employers about their obligations.
  • Through our free legal clinic, we will answer workers’ questions about the law and enforce violations.
  • After our recent paid sick time victories in New York City, Newark, Jersey City, and Portland (Oregon), we will use this momentum to pass new paid sick time laws around the country. 

If you would like to become involved in our outreach efforts or would like to set up a training for workers in New York City to learn more about the law, please contact us at 212-430-5982 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

And if you are a worker in New York City who needs more information on the law, if your employer refuses to provide you with sick time, or if you are facing retaliation (including termination, demotion, or other penalties) for taking sick time, please call our free Families @ Work Legal Clinic Hotline for help and advice at 212-430-5982.



New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at the rally where the Mayor announced his proposal to expand the Earned Sick Time Act.

Tags: Paid Sick Days, Paid Sick Time

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