In an indication that Mayor De Blasio is making employee rights a major priority, the first bill he signed into law last week was the Earned Sick Time Act.The new law will require all businesses in New York with 5 or more employees to provide paid time off for its employees who are hired to work more than 80 hours a calendar year in New York City. Those employers with less than five employees will be required to provide unpaid sick leave.
The law even protects domestic workers. Those who have been employed at least one year and who work 80 hours a calendar year are entitled to paid sick leave.
The law goes into effect on April 1, although businesses with less than 19 employees are allowed a six month grace period before they are subject to fines.
Significantly, the law adds grandparents, grandchildren and siblings to the definition of family members workers can legally care for using paid sick time.
Mayor De Blasio, who signed the bill at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based Steve's Ice Cream shop, stated: "[f]rom Day One of this administration, we've made it our mission to lift up working families and raise the wage and benefit floor for all New Yorkers. This law is the first of many steps we are taking to fundamentally address inequality in this city, and make this a city where everyone rises together. Today is truly a historic day that takes us one step closer toward that goal."