Final Regulations for New York State Sick Leave Law

Final Regulations for New York State Sick Leave Law

On December 22, 2021, the New York Department of Labor issued final regulations for New York State’s Sick Leave Law. As a reminder, New York passed a paid sick leave requirement which became effective January 1, 2021, see prior Benefit Beat article here.

The final regulations clarify several provisions as summarized below.

Employer size

The law requires an employer to provide sick leave based on its size as follows:

  • Employs 1-4 employees and whose net income is less than one million in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours unpaid sick leave per calendar year
  • Employs 1-4 employees and whose net income is greater than one million in the previous tax year must provide up to 40 hours paid sick leave per calendar year
  • Employs 5-99 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year
  • Employs 100+ employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year

The final regulations clarify that employer size is based on the number of employees employed by the employer nationwide. However, only employees working in New York State are eligible for sick leave.

Carry-over

The law allows for carry-over of unused sick leave to the following year. The final regulations clarify that an employer cannot cap the number of accrued but unused sick leave hours that can be carried over.

While carry-over must be allowed even for frontloaded sick leave, the employer is allowed to offer one of the following options:

  • Cash out or carry over.
  • Carry over only.

Also be reminded, an individual can be limited to 56 or 40 hours in a calendar year even if the carry over amount exceeds that limit.

Use of leave

The law provides that an employee may use sick leave as soon as it is accrued. The final regulations confirm that there is no length of service requirement. The final regulations also provide that an employer may not require an employee to use sick leave (in lieu of taking unpaid leave) when the time off is for a covered reason.

Employee notice

The final regulations confirm that there is no advance notice requirement for the use of sick leave even if the leave is foreseeable.

Attestation/Documentation

The final regulations provide that an employer may request documentation to verify the employee’s need to use sick leave but only after three consecutive days of sick leave. The employer may not require an employee to pay any costs or fees to obtain verification of the employee’s eligibility to use sick leave, meaning an employer cannot deny sick leave when an employee is unable to obtain documentation because he/she cannot afford to do so. Further, an employer cannot deny an employee the right to use sick leave while attempting to verify the need for sick leave.


The information contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations. This information is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This information is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. You must consult your own attorney or tax advisor for assistance in specific situations. This information is provided as-is, with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.

Final Regulations for New York State Sick Leave Lawhttps://www.cbiz.com/Portals/0/Images/New York State Sick Leave.jpg?ver=5VC00WH54MUlfWHXUhbirA%3d%3dThe amount of sick leave that must be provided is based on employer size.2022-01-12T20:00:00-05:00The amountof sick leave that must be provided is based on employer size.Regulatory, Compliance, & LegislativeEmployee Benefits ComplianceNo