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New York City Is Expanding Its Sick Time Law To Encompass “Safe Time”

In October, the New York City Council passed a bill that will provide paid time off for employees dealing with matters related to family offenses, sexual offenses, and human trafficking. The law will go into effect 180 days after it is signed by Mayor de Blasio (date TBD).

For the past three and a half years, the New York City Earned Sick Time Act has required employers to allow employees in New York City to accrue up to five days per year of paid sick time to use when they or their family members are sick or in need of medical care.  Now, under revisions to the law, paid time off will also be available to an employee where the employee, or or a member of his or her family or household, has been a victim of a family offense, sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking. The paid time off, referred to as “safe time,” may be used for the following purposes:

(a)        to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family

offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking;

(b)        to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking;

(c)        to meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding, including but not limited to, matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing or consumer credit;

(d)        to file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;

(e)        to meet with a district attorney’s office;

(f)         to enroll children in a new school; or

(g)        to take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

Safe time will accrue at the same rate as sick time – i.e., one hour for every thirty hours worked – and will be subject to the same cap – i.e., employees are entitled to up to forty hours per year.

If you have questions about the new safe time requirements in New York City, please contact an HR professional at PMP.

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