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

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

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 .

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 EmployeesNet IncomeSick Leave AllowancePaid (Yes/No)
0-4Less than $1,000,00040 hoursNo
0-4More than $1,000,00040 hoursYes
5-99/40 hoursYes
100+/56 hoursYes

Can You Carry On Your Unused Sick Leave to the Next Calendar Year?

Although you can carry over unused sick leave to the next calendar year, the law permits employers to limit employees' use of sick leave to 40 or 56 hours each year. In other words, you may accrue sick leave that you won't be eligible to use.

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. Choose the Request Sick Leave product
  2. Fill in a few details about your job and your employer
  3. 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.

Administrative Issues Are No Longer a Problem With DoNotPay

By signing up with DoNotPay, you can say goodbye to tiring bureaucracy and:

Our App Generates Documents and Letters in Your Stead

If you need some important paperwork, DoNotPay can generate it for you in record time! Our tools can assist you in drafting the following categories of documents:

DocumentsAppeals and Letters
  • , including living wills and medical
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All documents you create can also be notarized and faxed online in our app!

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