Last year, legislation was passed expanding New York City’s paid sick leave program to cover “safe time,” related to instances “when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.” In addition to adding these safe time provisions, the bill also expands the list of covered family members for whom sick and safe time can be taken.

The changes go into effect May 5, 2018. The Notice of Employee Rights that is required to be provided to all new New York City employees must include safe time provisions as of that date. Within 30 days of the effective date (June 4), existing employees must also be given an updated Notice of Employee Rights. These distributions should be documented and records kept. Note: these notices and record-keeping are the responsibility of the production company.

The law, renamed the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, provides paid time off for the following situations:

  • To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking;
  • To participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or family member;
  • To meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in, any criminal or civil proceeding, including but not limited to matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing or consumer credit;
  • To file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;
  • To meet with a district attorney’s office;
  • To enroll children in a new school; or
  • To take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

For union employees:

A valid collective bargaining agreement (CBA) may expressly waive the requirements of this law, as long as it provides a comparable paid-days-off benefit to covered employees. Any current CBA is exempt from the new requirements until it expires;  following expiration, any new agreement must incorporate such provisions if the associated parties wish to waive the Sick and Safe Time requirements.

Comparable benefits must be in the form of leave, compensation, other employee benefit (e.g., vacation, personal days, sick and safe time, premium pay for Sunday and holiday work), or some combination.

You can download the full legislation as written here.