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Spring Cleaning

MSF Client Alert — MSF’s Employment Law Group Spring Cleaning

With the end of the first quarter of the year, the conclusion of the annual review cycle and hopefully the snow storms of March behind us, it is time to turn your focus to ‘spring cleaning.’ The spring season is a good time to review your company’s oft-forgotten policies and procedures. One area to consider is your sick time and leave of absence policies.

Here are some areas to consider:

New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act which was passed in November 2017 will take effect on May 5, 2018.  The act amended the New York City Earned Sick Time Act.  The basic provisions of the Earned Sick Time Act remain the same –employers of five or more employees who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year must provide up to 40 hours of sick leave every calendar year.  However, the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act expands the reasons that paid sick time may be used to include ‘safe time’ reasons for individuals who are victims of a family offense, sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking.  The amendment also expands the definition of covered family member for all purposes.  Employers must be prepared to provide updated sick time notices to employees incorporating these provisions by May 5, 2018 (for employees hired as of that date) and by June 4, 2018 for existing employees and to update employee manuals which may contain these provisions.

New York’s Paid Family Leave Law became effective January 1, 2018 for employers with one or more employees. The law provides eligible employees with up to 8 weeks (in 2018) of Paid Family leave for covered family leave reasons including bonding with a newly born, adopted or foster child, care for a relative with a serious health condition or assistance with family situations due to military service of deployments. If your company has a handbook, you are required to have a policy addressing this new law. You also want to ensure that these policies address the intersection between New York’s law and other federal leave requirements.

Have your company’s policies and notices been updated to address these new laws or do they need a refresh?  If you need assistance with your ‘spring cleaning’ of policies or notices or need advice about these areas, reach out to your MSF contact or our Employment Group for assistance.