Q: I understand the New York Department of Labor recently released guidance interpreting the New York State Sick Leave Law. What are the key takeaways? Did the guidance answer the questions left open by the legislation?
A: As discussed in our previous post, the New York Sick Leave Law (NYSLL) went into effect on September 30 for accrual purposes, and employees may start using the sick leave on January 1, 2021. The New York Department of Labor recently issued general guidance on its website, and also issued an FAQ document (referred to together as “guidance” for purposes of this post).
Despite the volume of material released, the guidance does not clearly address most of the key questions left open by the NYSLL. Instead, the guidance focuses on topics already covered in the text of the law (e.g., the definition of family member) and on relatively straightforward questions, such as whether an individual may use sick leave for routine dentist and eye doctor appointments (which is allowed because those are considered preventative medical care).