As we approach our first “mega-snow storm” here in New Jersey and New York, we just wanted to clarify when employees can use sick leave under New York City’s Earned Sick Leave Act. I have gotten a few questions about the NYC’s paid sick leave law, especially the sections that allow for leave if an employee’s workplace or child’s school is closed during an emergency.
The law does not allow for the use of sick leave simply because a workplace or an employee’s child’s school is closed. Rather, sick leave is available if the workplace or school is closed due to a “public health emergency.” If, for example, the measles outbreak that seems to be hitting parts of California was happening in NYC and schools closed as a result, that would be due to a public health emergency.
The sick leave laws in the 8 municipalities in New Jersey (East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton) also do not allow for the use of paid sick leave if work or schools are closed due to the snow.
If employees miss work due to the snow, their only available paid time off will be in accordance with their employers’ other paid time off policies.
In the meantime, be careful out there!