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New York City's Paid Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect: City Launches Public Education And Outreach Campaign

April 1, 2014

Department of Consumer Affairs Unveils Advertisements on the City’s Subway Cars, Buses, Bus Shelters, and Telephone Kiosks; Conducts Dozens of Training Events

Important Dates: Employers Must Provide the Required Notice of Employee Rights to Current Employees by May 1; Covered Employees Can Begin Using Accrued Leave on July 30

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) First Deputy Commissioner Alba Pico today announced that the city’s new paid sick leave law is now in effect and officially launched the city’s public education and outreach campaign to help employers and employees understand their responsibilities and rights. Under the law, certain employers now must provide sick leave, so employees can care for themselves or a family member. The campaign will consist of a multi-phased advertising campaign, robust information online and through 311, a series of events, and numerous partnerships to expand outreach efforts.

The first phase of advertisements alerts New Yorkers that the law takes effect April 1 and features the campaign's tagline Feel 100%. Work 100%. Together We Can Keep Businesses Strong and Keep New Yorkers Healthy (Siéntase al 100%. Trabaje al 100%. Esta Ley Protege la Salud de los Trabajadores y Mantiene los Negocios Fuertes). The ads, in English and Spanish, are running on 1,000 subway cars and 1,000 buses, as well as on bus shelters and phone kiosks. Employers and employees can visit or call 311 for more information, including who the law applies to, the required Notice of Employee Rights, one-page overviews, FAQs, events and information on filing a complaint.

"Today marks a new beginning for many working New Yorkers who used to fear that asking for a sick day to take care of themselves or their family members would result in the loss of their income or even their jobs," said Mayor de Blasio. "The city's Department of Consumer Affairs is spearheading extensive education efforts, including providing information on its website and training businesses throughout the city, to ensure that employers learn about everything they need to know to provide their employees with sick leave."

"We are here to help employers who want to comply with the new law but have questions about it," said DCA First Deputy Commissioner Alba Pico. "Thanks to the many partners, including sister agencies, elected officials, BIDs, associations and nonprofits, we have already reached out to tens of thousands of businesses and have many more events and outreach efforts in the works."

"With the paid sick leave law taking effect today, it's more important than ever for restaurateurs to have the information necessary to comply with the law and a resource to answer their questions. The New York City Hospitality Alliance is proud to act as a liaison with the Department of Consumer Affairs to get the proper information out to the New York City hospitality industry. Given that our first seminar, on April 1, was sold out twice, we look forward to our expert team conducting future seminars with the Department of Consumer Affairs," said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a membership association that fosters the growth of the restaurants, bars, lounges, and destination hotels industry.

"The 82nd Street Partnership is pleased to partner with the city's Department of Consumer Affairs to help educate and inform the Queens business community about the new paid sick leave law, which goes into effect today, April 1. As an organization committed to ensuring that our diverse small business community has access to the resources and information needed to thrive in today's economy, we want to thank Mayor de Blasio and his administration for their tremendous community outreach and engagement on this important issue," said Seth Taylor, Executive Director 82nd Street Partnership, a non-profit economic development group that works to revitalize commercial corridors in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, Queens.

The second phase of advertising will launch on June 2 to educate New Yorkers about the impending date of July 30, when employees will be allowed to use accrued sick leave. This phase will include an increased number of subway and bus ads, as well as print, television and radio advertisements.

In addition, employers and employees can visit or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information, including the required Notice of Employee Rights, one-page overviews for employers and employees, FAQs, and events. Employers must provide the notice to employees in English and, if available on the DCA website, their primary language. The Notice of Employee Rights is currently available in English, Spanish, Italian, and Russian, and is in the process of being translated to Chinese, French-Creole, Korean, Arabic and Bengali. Additional materials are also being translated.

New Yorkers can also follow DCA’s handle @NYCDCA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #paidsickleave, and employers can ask questions online on DCA’s Live Chat for Business platform Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. DCA will also be holding a public hearing on proposed rules regarding paid sick leave on April 29. For more information on the rules, the hearing or to submit comment, visit

Starting today, training events will be conducted on an ongoing basis. The full training schedule is available on the DCA Event Calendar. To schedule a training, visit and email DCA.

About the Paid Sick Leave Law

Under New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law), which is in effect today, certain employers must allow sick leave, so employees can care for themselves or a family member. 

Who Must Provide Sick Leave?

Employers with five or more (5 or more) employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City must provide paid sick leave.

Employers with one to four (1 – 4) employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City must provide unpaid sick leave.

Employers with one or more (1 or more) domestic workers who have worked for the employer for at least a year and who work more than 80 hours per calendar year must provide two (2) days of paid sick leave.

Visit to learn which employers are exempt under the law.

Who’s Covered by the Law?

Employees who work more than 80 hours a calendar year in New York City are covered by the paid sick leave law and accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours in a calendar year. If their employer has five or more employees, they have the right to paid sick leave, and if the employer has fewer than five employees, they have the right to unpaid sick leave. The law covers full-time and part-time employees, transitional jobs program employees, undocumented employees, employees who are family members but not owners, and employees who live outside of New York City but work in the city. Covered domestic workers have the right to two days of paid sick leave after one year on the job, which is in addition to the three days of paid rest under New York State Labor Law.

Employees can use sick leave to care for themselves or a family member. Family members include child, grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, child or parent of a spouse or domestic partner, or sibling (including half, adopted, or step sibling).

DCA enforces the paid sick leave law, the Consumer Protection Law and other related business laws throughout New York City. Empowering consumers and businesses to ensure a fair and vibrant marketplace, DCA licenses almost 80,000 businesses in 55 different industries. Through targeted outreach, partnerships with community and trade organizations, and informational materials, DCA educates consumers and businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities. The DCA Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) was launched at the end of 2006 as the first local government initiative in the country with the specific mission to educate, empower, and protect individuals and families with low incomes. OFE creates innovative programs, products, and services for New Yorkers so they can build assets and make the most of their financial resources. Our goal is to increase access to high-quality, low-cost financial education and counseling; connect individuals to safe and affordable mainstream banking and products and services; improve access to income-boosting tax credits, savings, and other asset building opportunities; and enforce and improve consumer financial protections to safeguard financial stability. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at

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