File #: Int 0563-2022    Version: * Name: Provision of sick time earned by employees.
Type: Introduction Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Civil Service and Labor
On agenda: 7/14/2022
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the provision of sick time earned by employees
Sponsors: Gale A. Brewer, Shahana K. Hanif, Tiffany Cabán, Rita C. Joseph
Council Member Sponsors: 4
Summary: The proposed bill would add a right to file a private civil action to the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA), which allows most private employees in New York City to earn paid sick time from their employers. Under the current law, employees who are denied their rights under the ESTA are limited to filing a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs. This bill would allow such employees to also file a case with any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce their rights.
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 563, 2. Int. No. 563, 3. July 14, 2022 - Stated Meeting Agenda

Int. No. 563

 

By Council Members Brewer, Hanif, Cabán and Joseph

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the provision of sick time earned by employees

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Section 20-924 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law 46 of 2013, is amended to read as follows:

§ 20-924 Enforcement,[and] penalties and private right of action. a. The department shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. In effectuating such enforcement, the department shall establish a system utilizing multiple means of communication to receive complaints regarding non-compliance with this chapter and investigate complaints received by the department in a timely manner. The department may open an investigation upon receipt of a complaint or on its own initiative. The department may open an investigation upon receipt of a complaint or on its own initiative.

b. Any person, including any organization, alleging a violation of this chapter shall have the right to file a complaint with the department [within two years of the date the person knew or should have known of the alleged violation]. The department shall maintain confidential the identity of any natural person providing information relevant to enforcement of this chapter unless disclosure of such person’s identity is necessary to the department for resolution of its investigation or otherwise required by federal or state law. The department shall, to the extent practicable, notify such person that the department will be disclosing his or her identity prior to such disclosure.

c. Upon receiving a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, the department shall investigate such complaint.  Within fourteen days of written notification of an investigation by the department, the person or entity under investigation shall provide the department with a written response and such other information as the department may request. The department shall keep complainants reasonably notified regarding the status of their complaint and any resultant investigation. If, as a result of an investigation of a complaint or an investigation conducted upon its own initiative, the department believes that a violation has occurred, it shall issue to the offending person or entity a notice of violation. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of such notices of violation. The notice of violation shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal authorized to adjudicate violations of this chapter.

d. The department shall have the power to impose penalties provided for in this chapter and to grant each and every employee or former employee all appropriate relief. Such relief shall include: (i) for each instance of safe/sick time taken by an employee but unlawfully not compensated by the employer: three times the wages that should have been paid under this chapter or two hundred fifty dollars, whichever is greater; (ii) for each instance of safe/sick time requested by an employee but unlawfully denied by the employer and not taken by the employee or unlawfully conditioned upon searching for or finding a replacement worker, or for each instance an employer requires an employee to work additional hours without the mutual consent of such employer and employee in violation of section 20-915 of this chapter to make up for the original hours during which such employee is absent pursuant to this chapter: five hundred dollars; (iii) for each violation of section 20-918 not including discharge from employment: full compensation including wages and benefits lost, five hundred dollars and equitable relief as appropriate; (iv) for each instance of unlawful discharge from employment: full compensation including wages and benefits lost, two thousand five hundred dollars and equitable relief, including reinstatement, as appropriate; and (v) for each employee covered by an employer’s official or unofficial policy or practice of not providing or refusing to allow the use of accrued safe/sick time in violation of section 20-913, five hundred dollars.

e. Any entity or person found to be in violation of the provisions of sections 20-913, 20-914, 20-915 or 20-918 of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty payable to the city not to exceed five hundred dollars for the first violation and, for subsequent violations that occur within two years of any previous violation, not to exceed seven hundred and fifty dollars for the second violation and not to exceed one thousand dollars for each succeeding violation. Penalties shall be imposed on a per employee basis.

f. 1. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of this chapter shall have a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction for compensatory damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, attorney’s fees and costs, and such other relief as such court deems appropriate, including the following remedies for violations of this chapter: (i) for each instance of sick time taken by an employee but unlawfully not compensated by the employer, three times the wages that should have been paid under this chapter or two hundred fifty dollars, whichever is greater; (ii) for each instance of sick time requested by an employee but unlawfully denied by the employer and not taken by the employee or unlawfully conditioned upon searching for or finding a replacement worker, or for each instance an employer requires an employee to work additional hours without the mutual consent of such employer and employee in violation of section 20-915 of this chapter to make up for the original hours during which such employee is absent pursuant to this chapter: five hundred dollars; (iii) for each instance of unlawful retaliation not including discharge from employment: full compensation including wages and benefits lost, five hundred dollars and equitable relief as appropriate; and (iv) for each instance of unlawful discharge from employment: full compensation including wages and benefits lost, two thousand five hundred dollars and equitable relief, including reinstatement, as appropriate.

2. When determining compensatory damages for a violation of any provisions of this chapter, a court may consider: the goals of deterring future violations, encouraging employees to report violations, and protecting and improving the public health; the degree of good or bad faith of the employer; the gravity of the violation; any history of previous violations; and the compliance or noncompliance with recordkeeping, notice, and other requirements of this chapter.

h. Submitting a complaint to the department shall be neither a prerequisite nor a bar to bringing a private action.

i. A person must file a complaint with the department, or a court of competent jurisdiction, within two years of when that person knew or should have known of an alleged violation of this chapter, except that any person who filed a timely complaint with the department prior to the effective date of the local law that amended this subdivision whose complaint has not been finally resolved by the department shall have the right to file a complaint in a court of competent jurisdiction notwithstanding the requirement that such complaint be filed with a court of competent jurisdiction within two years of when that person knew or should have known of any alleged violation.

[f.]i. The department shall annually report on its website the number and nature of the complaints received pursuant to this chapter, the results of investigations undertaken pursuant to this chapter, including the number of complaints not substantiated and the number of notices of violations issued, the number and nature of adjudications pursuant to this chapter, and the average time for a complaint to be resolved pursuant to this chapter.

§ 2. This local law takes effect on January 1, 2023.

 

 

 

Session 12

IP

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6/3/22 1:42pm

 

Session 11

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Int. #127-2018