Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Settles With Con Ed for Denying Workers Paid Safe and Sick Leave During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 25, 2023

NEW YORK, NY – Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga today announced a settlement with Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Ed) over violations of the City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law. Con Ed must pay $202,000 in restitution to 480 part-time entry-level workers who did not have access to paid safe and sick leave between June 1, 2018 and June 18, 2021, and pay $40,000 in civil penalties. They also must come into compliance.

“Ensuring that all covered workers are able to use paid safe and sick leave is crucial to an equitable recovery for our city,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “All workers—whether part-time or full-time deserve fair treatment in their workplaces, including the use of paid leave to care for themselves or a loved one or to seek social services. Employers, we will not allow you to violate our city’s laws.”

DCWP’s investigation found that, in addition to denying part-time student workers their right to use paid safe and sick leave, Con Ed did not have a written safe and sick leave policy for these workers until December 20, 2020. Even then, Con Ed did not distribute the new policy or adequately inform these workers of their rights.

Under NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member and to seek legal and social services assistance or take other safety measures if the employee or a family member may be the victim of any act or threat of domestic violence or unwanted sexual contact, stalking, or human trafficking. Employers and employees can visit or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information about the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, including the required Notice of Employee Rights in multiple languages, one-page overviews for employers and employees, and the complaint form.

DCWP’s case was handled by Investigator Haley Shaffer, Staff Counsel Beth Potter, and Director of Investigations Shane Ross of DCWP’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards, under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Wagoner.

Since the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law went into effect in April 2014, DCWP has received more than 3,450 complaints about potential Paid Safe and Sick Leave violations, closed more than 2,500 investigations, and obtained resolutions requiring nearly $21 million in combined fines and restitution for more than 60,000 workers.

Workers can file a complaint online or call 311 if they believe their rights have been violated. Complaints can be filed anonymously. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing complaints.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 45,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Michael Lanza / Stephany Vasquez Sanchez

(212) 436-0042