No federal or state law requires employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time for their employees. However, if employers choose to offer a vacation leave, paid or unpaid, to their employees it must comply with applicable state law or employment contract.
The rollover policy
- Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
If an employer chooses to provide paid vacation, it must comply with its policy or employment contract (N.Y. Lab. Law § 198-c).
- Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy
Not prohibited, but employers must give employees prior notice of the policy (Glenville Gage Co. v. Indus. Bd. of App. of N.Y., 417 N.E.2d 1009 (N.Y. Ct. App. 1980); N.Y. Lab. Law § 195(5)).
- Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination
An employer’s policy determines whether earned, unused vacation is paid on termination (New York Department of Labor: FAQs).
An employer policy may specify that employees lose accrued benefits under certain conditions, as long as employees are given prior notice of the policy (Glenville, 417 N.E.2d at 1009).
The state of New York has no statute governing vacation, sick, safe, PTO leave.
The following cities and municipalities have statute governing sick and safe leave:
New York City, New York Paid Sick Leave Laws
It applies to employers with five or more employees (unpaid if fewer than five) or one or more domestic workers and employees and domestic workers who work more than 80 hours a year in New York City. Domestic workers must also work for the same employer for one year.
Employers are required to give 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Frontloading is permitted. The annual accrual cap is 40 hours. Employees are allowed to use a maximum of 40 hours and two days for domestic workers per year.
Sick leave covers the following reasons:
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; reasons related to family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking.
Westchester County, New York Paid Sick Leave Laws
It applies to employers with five or more employees (unpaid if fewer than five) or one or more domestic workers and employees and domestic workers who work more than 80 hours a year in Westchester County.
Employers are required to give 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. The annual accrual cap is 40 hours. Employees are allowed to use a maximum of 40 hours and two days for domestic workers per year.
Sick leave covers the following reasons:
Employee’s or a family member’s illness, injury or condition; preventive care; exposure to communicable disease.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA
In addition to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, New York has the following laws regarding Maternity and Paternity Leave:
New York’s Temporary Disability Benefits Law requires employers to provide 4 to 6 workweeks of paid leave and short-term disability coverage due to temporary disability related to pregnancy and birth. This insurance provides partial wage replacement to employees who are temporarily unable to work for any reason, including pregnancy. The maximum period of disability under the law is 26 weeks, but the employee is required to provide additional medical documentation.
An employee is entitled to collect short-term disability benefits only while she is actually unable to work due to pregnancy or childbirth.
New York’s Paid Family Leave Law
Employees are entitled to receive ten weeks, in 2019 and 2020, increasing to 12 weeks, in 2021 of paid family leave. Coverage for paid family leave benefits is typically included under an employer’s existing disability benefits policy. The law provides job reinstatement and continuation of health insurance while on paid family leave.
Employees are eligible for paid family leave after 26 weeks of employment or if they work at least 20 hours per week. If the employees work less than 20 hours per week, they are entitled to take leave after they have worked 175 days.
The leave is permitted for parenting, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to handle certain matters arising from a family member’s active duty deployment in the military.
Adoptive Parents Leave
All employers that provide parental leave following the birth of a child must make the same leave available to parents who adopt a child under the age of five, or under the age of 18 if the child has special needs.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer who employs more than (10) employees must pay an employee the first $40 of the employee’s regular daily wages for the first three (3) days of jury service. In all other instances, an employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent serving on a jury.
An employer may not discharge or penalize an employee who is summoned to serve as a juror and who notifies the employer to that effect prior to the commencement of a term of service.
No federal or state law require an employer to provide the employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral.
Registered voters may, without loss of pay for up to three hours, take off so much working time as will enable them to vote. The employee shall be allowed time off for voting only at the beginning or end of his or her working shift, as the employer may designate, unless otherwise mutually agreed. Notice and posting requirements apply.
New York law provides employment protections for New York and U.S. military members, including reemployment rights and military spouse leave, in addition to Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
Under military spouse leave, employers with 20 or more employees working in at least one worksite must grant up to 10 days of unpaid leave to an employee who is a spouse of a military service member who has been deployed during a period of military conflict. Eligible employees must have worked for a covered employer for an average of 20 or more hours per week. Leave may only be taken while the military service member is on leave from deployment.