Calling in Sick? A Guide to New York Sick Leave Law

Request Sick Leave Calling in Sick? A Guide to New York Sick Leave Law

Under the Weather? Here’s What You Need To Know About New York Sick Leave Law

Most New Yorkers are entitled to sick leave (paid or otherwise) but may not know how many days they can use. Given how different one state’s legislation can be from another state’s, there’s no standardized approach to earning and using sick leave.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t feel compelled to work while sick. Being sick at work is bad for you and your coworkers, which is why you need to request time off when you’re ill—DoNotPay can help by breaking down the New York sick leave law and sending your leave request.

NYC Sick Leave Law 101

In September 2020, New York enacted two laws to help expand employee rights beyond temporary legislation connected to the pandemic:

  1. New York State Paid Sick Leave law (NYSPSL)
  2. New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave law (ESSTA)

These New York state sick leave laws allowed residents to begin accruing time in 2020. Employees were able to start using their time off as of January 1, 2021.

How Does the New York Sick Leave Law Work?

Whether you are eligible or not depends on the nature of the business you work for:

Number of Employees Net Income Sick Leave Allowance Paid (Yes/No)
Four or fewer Less than $1,000,000 40 hours No
Four or more More than $1,000,000 40 hours Yes
100 or more / 56 hours Yes

Acceptable Uses Under the New York Paid Sick Leave Law

As the name suggests, ESSTA covers two primary purpose categories:

  1. Sick leave
  2. Safe leave

Sick Leave Uses

You may claim accrued sick days for:

  • The care of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
  • The diagnosis or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition

You may also use sick leave to take care of a family member or relative that meets one of the above conditions.

Safe Leave Uses

You may use earned safe leave time to:

  • Engage services offered by a domestic violence shelter or rape crisis center
  • Take part in a safety planning process
  • Plan the relocation of yourself or your family in addressing a safety concern
  • Work with a lawyer or social services professional
  • Engage support from a law enforcement agency
  • Enroll your children at a new education institution
  • Take any action in support of your or your family’s safety

Methods for Calling in Sick

First, check if your company has an official policy for taking sick leave. Some organizations use an online portal or a specific phone number to manage the process.

Otherwise, use one of the following contact methods to call in sick:

Ideally, you should give as much notice as possible. If you are already at work and begin feeling sick, inform your manager directly that you need to take the rest of the day off.

DoNotPay Will Help You Claim Your New York Paid Sick Leave

While your employer cannot legally terminate your employment because you’re sick, they may not be happy about your absence. That pressure can make the prospect of asking for time off stressful—allow DoNotPay to make it easier for you.

Our Request Sick Leave product streamlines the process of informing your employer about your need for time off. Here is how it works:

  1. Log in to your DoNotPay account
  2. Choose the Request Sick Leave product
  3. Fill in a few details about your job and your employer
  4. Specify which days you will be absent

That’s it! You can download a copy of the request or have DoNotPay submit it to your boss on your behalf.

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