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NYC Amends Its Sick and Safe Leave Requirements

On September 15, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) amended the City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) regulations. The effective date of the changes is October 15, 2023.

The changes to the ESSTA regulations are intended to clarify and strengthen the law’s protections for employees. The most notable changes include:

  • Clarification of coverage for telecommuters and hybrid employees. The new regulations clarify that telecommuters and hybrid employees are covered by the ESSTA, regardless of where they perform their work.
  • Expanded definition of “domestic worker.” The new regulations expand the definition of “domestic worker” to include individuals who provide caregiving services to the elderly, disabled, or ill in a private home.
  • New requirements for employers to provide advance notice of leave policies. Employers are now required to provide employees with advance notice of their leave policies, including information on how to accrue and use ESSTA leave.
  • Restrictions on employers’ ability to request documentation of leave. Employers are now prohibited from requesting documentation of leave for the first three days of an employee’s absence unless the employer has a reasonable basis to believe that the employee is abusing leave.
  • New requirements for employers to report ESSTA leave usage. Employers are now required to report ESSTA leave usage to employees on their paystubs or through another employee-accessible electronic system.

Next Steps

Next Steps 

In addition to these changes, the new regulations also include several other clarifications and updates. Employers should carefully review the new regulations to ensure that they comply with the law, including reviewing their leave policies, providing advance notice of leave policies to employees, and restricting their ability to request documentation of leave. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.