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August 2, 2023

Legal News

August 2, 2023

The Danger of Lumping PTO with Sick Time

Many employers provide their employees a certain amount of days each year and designate that time as available to the employee to take either as sick days, personal days or vacation time –without distinction.

While such a policy may ease the administrative burden on employers with regards to tracking time, certain employers, especially NYC employers, may run afoul of regulations that mandate tracking sick-time separately.

Under New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law), which took effect on April 1, 2014, certain employers must allow sick leave, so employees can care for themselves or a family member.

Under New York State Labor Law, failure to provide employee benefits such as sick leave, is equivalent to a failure to pay employee wages. Should an employer fail to provide their employees with sick leave as required under the law, they may be subject to civil/administrative actions and/or criminal penalties, including but not limited to, an order assessing the full amount of the wage underpayment, 100% liquidated damages, and civil penalties in an amount up to double the total amount to be due.

If you are a business that does not maintain clear policies governing sick time and PTO, the attorneys at Outside Legal Counsel are available for a consultation to help determine the best course forward.

This is not legal advice and is attorney advertising.

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