What is the NY Sick Leave Law?

Certain New York State businesses are required to comply with the New York State Paid Sick Leave Law starting September 30, 2020, which imposes the following conditions on registered NY state employers.

  • Employers who have less than 100 employees must provide those employees with a paid sick leave policy that accrues at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per calendar year.

  • That 40-hour max is raised to 56 for employers with over 100 employees.

  • Companies with less than 5 employees AND less than $1 million in net income do not need to provide paid sick leave. However, in that case they are required to allow 40 unpaid sick hours.

  • Paid Sick Leave balances must be displayed on the employee's pay stubs.

  • There are no pending periods- meaning that employees start accruing hours for use as soon as they earn them.

  • Unused sick hours must carry over into the next year, up to their 40/56 hour cap.

  • Employers can choose to front-load those hours, instead of having the employees accrue them over time (i.e. giving them 40/56 hours to use as soon as the year starts).

  • Employees starting on or after September 30, 2020 may start accruing hours in the pending period but are not eligible to use the hours until January 1, 2021

If you're one of those businesses, using Fingercheck's customizable policy building tools, you can quickly create a sick leave policy that operates according to the rules specified within the law. Here's what you'll need to do.

How to Set Up an Accrual Policy for NY State Sick Leave

  • Log onto your Fingercheck account and go to the "Setup" tab. From the drop-down menu on the top left of the page, select "Policies Menu."

  • From the list that appears, click on "Accrual Policies" and then on the "Add" button to begin building your policy.

  • We've provided a screenshot of how to fill out the Accrual Policy window to create the guidelines for your NY Sick Leave Law-compliant policy. We'll make this short and sweet and provide explanations only for need-to-know info. The sick leave law specifies that hours must be displayed on the employees' pay stubs, and employees start accruing sick leave starting from their first date of hire, so you'll want to select the "Display On Stub" checkbox, and "No Pending" by "Pending Rule."

  • Under the sick leave law, if an employee has unused sick pay, he or she can carry over up to 40 hours to the next calendar year. To apply this rule, enter "CalendarYearEnd" by "Rollover Rule" and check the box by "Rollover Carry Forward" to apply this rule.

  • If you want to pay out the unused sick leave hours (which the sick leave law says you have the option to do), choose the "Rollover Earning" you would like, i.e. "Regular Hours" for regular pay. Once you've finished, click "Add" to add additional rules.

  • Now you can enter the PTO Rate Information. "LOS Type” means ‘Length of Service.’ Anyone that works less than the stated 'Length of Service' will have this rule applied to them. So to ensure this will work for all of your employees, go ahead and use the LOS type of “Month,” and set the “Los Number” for “9999." Anyone that has worked less than 9999 months (i.e. everyone with this policy) will have this accrual be active for them.

  • Since the accrual rate is 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, divide 1 by 30 to arrive at an "Accrual Rate" of 0.0333. Leave the "Max Per Accrual" and "Max Pending" as 0. For "Max Allowed," "Max Available," and "Max Carryover," enter 40 or 56, depending on which bracket your company falls into. Then click "Apply."

  • Next, if you are a business with over 5 employees, you need to add PTO Earnings. Open "PTO Earnings" and click "Add."

  • You can select your division earnings here, then click "Apply."

  • As you can see, we added "Regular Hours" and "Overtime." Be sure to click "Save" to save!

  • As you can see, now the policy has been created!

To apply the accrual policy to your employees, you can apply a filter that will automatically apply the policy to all active employees, or, you can add the policy individually.

How to apply an Accrual Policy to Employees

Here's the first method:

  • Go to the "Setup" tab and from the drop-down menu on the top left of the page, select "Security Menu."

  • From the list that appears, click on "User Filters" and then on the "Add" button to begin building your policy.

  • Add a "Code" and "Description" to identify the filter and check "Show As Filter." Then click the "Add" button to build your filter rules.

  • By "Filter On" select "Employee - DivisionEmployeeStatus." For "Operator," select "EqualTo" and for "Value" select "Active." Essentially, we are defining the filter and applying it to every employee who is active. For the "AndOR" field, you can either choose "And" or "Or." In this case, it doesn't really matter, since this field really only exists to help you specify which filter to apply if you have more then one filter per employee. We'll just choose "Or." Save it.

  • Now the filter has been created! To apply it to the accrual policy, head back to the "Policies Menu."

  • Go to "Accrual Policies," then click into your NYC Sick policy. Select the "New Hire" filter you have just made, and click "Save." Now if you add a new employee this accrual policy will automatically be added to it.

Here's the second method: 

  • To apply the accrual policy to an employee, go to the "Employee" tab and select an employee.

  • From the list that appears go to "Accrual Policies" and then click the "Add" button.

  • By "Accrual Policy" select the policy you've just made. By "Allowed as of" enter today's date. For "Allowed Hours" enter 0 so the hours begin to accrue from today on - if you enter 40, it will automatically give the employee 40 hours. For "Last Accrual," "Last Rollover," and "Last Pending Moved" select today's date. Then click "Apply."

  • Once you've done that, you should see the accrual policy applied to that employee's profile! Make sure to click "Save" to finish.

It's that simple to create a sick leave policy that operates according to the rules of New York's State-wide Paid Sick Leave Law.
To learn more about our cost-effective and user-friendly cloud-based time and attendance software, check out our website at Fingercheck.com. Interested in our services? Sign up for a 30-day free trial and get started with Fingercheck today.

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