HR Alert

NYC Sick Time Law Amended to Provide 'Safe' Time

NYC Sick Time Law Amended to Provide 'Safe' Time

'Safe' Time Available for Family Offense Matters, Sexual Offenses, Stalking, and Trafficking

New York City has expanded its Sick Time law to provide certain leave related to family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, and trafficking ("safe time"). An outline of the changes is presented below.

Safe Time Use

Under the amended law, an eligible employee will be entitled to use safe time due to any of the following reasons (among other things), when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family member, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking:

  • Obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program;
  • Participating in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee's family members;
  • Meeting with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and preparing for or participating in any criminal or civil proceeding; or
  • Taking other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee (or the employee's family member) or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

For an absence of more than 3 consecutive work days for safe time, an employer may require reasonable documentation. However, an employer cannot require that certain documentation specify the details of the family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.


Under existing law, employers must distribute the Notice of Employee Rights to their employees. Notices provided on and after May 5, 2018 must also inform employees of their right to safe time. Employers must give employees who have already received notice of their right to sick time notice of their right to safe time within 30 days of May 5, 2018.

Amount of Leave Remains the Same

Under the NYC Sick Time Law, employers are generally required to provide up to 40 hours of paid or unpaid sick time per year to eligible employees. The safe time provisions do not add to the total amount of leave--at least 40 hours per year--that workers can take. Instead, they add reasons for using the leave.

The amended law generally takes effect on May 5, 2018. Click here to read the text of the amended law.

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