Help

Westchester Earned Sick Leave Law

Sarah Lawrence College complies with the Westchester Earned Sick Leave Law which requires employers to provide a notice to all current employees, as well as new employees at the commencement of their employment (Scroll down for the notice of employee rights).

Please note that for most employee classifications, the College’s existing sick leave policies are more generous than that required under the new law. The new policy below now affords sick leave to the following groups of employees who were not previously eligible under the College’s sick leave policy:

  • Guest Faculty
  • Staff working less than 21 hours per week
  • Student Employees

Effective July 1, 2019, employees who were not previously eligible to earn sick time may now be eligible to accrue and use up to forty (40) hours of sick time per year for the reasons described below.

Part time staff who work less than 21 hours per week, student workers, and guest faculty will be eligible to accrue up to 40 hours per year in paid sick time, provided that they work at least 80 hours per year. Sick time may be used to address:

  • Your own mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; your own preventative medical care.
  • To care for a family member who needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, or who needs preventative medical care.
  • The College closing due to a public health emergency or you need to care for a child whose school or child care provider has closed due to a public health emergency

The law recognizes the following as family members: child (biological, adopted, or foster child; legal ward; or child of an employee standing in loco parentis), grandchild, spouse, legal domestic partner, parent, grandparent, child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner, and sibling.

Documentation: For absences of more than three consecutive work days under this policy, the College may require reasonable documentation signed by a licensed health care provider indicating the need for the amount of sick time taken. Employees are not required to specify the nature of their own or their family member's injury, illness or condition, unless requested in connection with concurrent leave under another applicable College policy, i.e. FMLA. All employee health related information must be kept confidential unless the employee permits the College to disclose their information or disclosure is required by law.

Advanced Notice: When possible, sick time used for medical and dental appointments should be scheduled with your supervisor or department at least seven (7) days in advance (except when emergency treatment is needed).

Accrual: Eligible employees who are employed as of July 1, 2019 and who were not previously eligible to receive sick leave, including student employees, temporary employees and guest faculty members, will now accrue sick leave time at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per year For eligible employees hired after July 1, 2019, sick leave time under this policy will accrue starting on the respective date of hire. Up to 40 hours of earned and unused sick time will carry over for up to one year fiscal year, however no more than 40 hours of sick leave can be used in any given year. An eligible employee may begin using sick time after accruing sick time under this policy for ninety (90) calendar days. All other employees will continue to accrue sick leave time at the rates as described in the College’s regular employee Sick Leave Policy.

Termination of Employment: Any accrued but unused sick time under this policy will not be paid out upon termination. Terminated employees are not entitled to a reimbursement of unused accrued sick time.

Please see the following for a summary of guest faculty, student employee and other staff accrual amounts.

Schedule of Accrued Sick Leave

For all categories of College employees listed below, sick accruals may not be used in increments of less than 3 hours. Newly-hired employees must have worked 80 hours and waited 90 days to use their sick accruals. Up to 40 hours of sick accruals may be carried into the next fiscal year.

Accrual Rates for Guest Faculty

Guest faculty accrue sick leave according to the following schedule, based upon an estimation of their anticipated hours:

(# of credits x # of courses (or teaching days, as applicable for undergraduate guests) x 2.25 x 15 weeks)*/30 =

# of sick hours earned per semester (capped at 40 hours per year)

For example:

# of Credits # of Courses # of Sick Hours Per Semester
3 1 3 hours
4 1 4 hours
5 1 5 hours

*Note: This computation of hours is based upon an approved IRS method for converting faculty teaching loads into hours.

Undergraduate guest faculty should speak with the associate dean of the college to request to use sick leave. Graduate guest faculty should speak with the corresponding program director to request to use sick leave. These requests must then be confirmed for eligibility and reported to the College’s director of Human Resources

Accrual Rates for Student Employees

Student employees accrue sick leave according to the following schedule: One sick hour for every 30 hours worked, up to the allowable limit of 40 hours of sick time in a year.

Students will accrue sick leave in the College’s payroll system, at this rate, based upon their actual hours worked. Sick accruals will be reflected on student pay stubs. Students should reflect their sick hours used on the timesheet submitted to their supervisor for approval. Students requesting to use sick time which they have not yet accrued, or for which they have insufficient hours in their sick time bank will not be paid for those hours.

Accrual Rates for Other Staff

Non-exempt/hourly: Non-exempt staff who work less than 21 hours will accrue sick leave according to the following schedule: One sick hour for every 30 hours worked, up to the allowable limit of 40 hours of sick time in a year.

Non-exempt staff will accrue sick leave in the College’s payroll system, at this rate, based upon their actual hours worked. Sick accruals will be reflected on pay stubs. Staff should reflect their sick hours used on the timesheet submitted to their supervisor for approval. Staff requesting to use sick time which they have not yet accrued, or for which they have insufficient hours in their sick time bank will not be paid for those hours.

Exempt/salaried: Exempt staff who work less than 21 hours will accrue sick leave according to the schedule of their projected average hours. One hour of sick time will be accrued for every 30 hours worked, up to the allowable limit of 40 hours of sick time per year. These projected accruals will be tracked in the Human Resources office, and sick time used by part-time exempt staff must be reported to Human Resources on a monthly basis by supervisors.

Notice of Employee Rights Under
Westchester County’s Earned Sick Leave Law

The Earned Sick Leave law sets the minimum requirements for sick leave. Your employer’s leave policies may already meet or exceed the requirements of the law. You have a right to be given this notice in English, and Spanish and, if available on the Westchester County website, your primary language. For more information, including Frequently Asked Questions, visit www.humanrights.westchestergov.com.

Employers with five or more employees in Westchester County must provide paid sick leave. Employers with less than five employees must provide unpaid sick leave. Employers who have one or more domestic workers who are employed for more than 80 hours in a calendar year must provide paid sick leave.

Employers covered by Earned Sick Leave Law must give this written notice to new employees when they begin employment and to existing employees by July 1, 2019. Employers must also display a copy of the Earned Sick Leave Law and a poster in English, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the County of Westchester, in a conspicuous location accessible to employees.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SICK LEAVE, WHICH YOU CAN USE FOR THE CARE AND TREATMENT OF YOURSELF OR A FAMILY MEMBER.

Amount of Sick Leave

Your employer must provide up to 40 hours of sick leave every consecutive 12-month period. Your employer’s year is: Start of Year: June 1 End of Year: May 31.

Rate of Accrual

If you work less than 21 hours per week accrue sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per year.

Date Accrual Begins

You begin to accrue sick leave on July 1, 2019 or on your first day of employment, whichever is later.

Date Sick Leave is Available for Use

You can begin using sick leave 90 days after your initial hire date.  An employer has the right to delay your ability to use earned sick time until you have worked for the employer for 90 days.

Acceptable Reasons to Use Sick Leave

You can use sick leave when:

  • You have a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; you need to get a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; you need to get preventative medical care.
  • You must care for a family member who needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, or who needs preventative medical care.
  • Your employer’s business closes due to a public health emergency or you need to care for a child whose school or child care provider has closed due to a public health emergency.

Family Members

The law recognizes the following as family members:

  • Child (biological, adopted, or foster child; legal ward; or child of an employee standing in loco parentis)
  • Grandchild
  • Spouse
  • Legal domestic partner
  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Sibling

Advance Notice

If the need is foreseeable, your employer can require notice of your intention to use sick leave. If the need is unforeseeable, your employer may require you to give notice as soon as practicable. If notice is required, the procedure you must follow to use sick leave must be provided to you in writing.

Documentation

Your employer can require documentation for a health care provider if you use more than three consecutive workdays as sick leave. Employers may not require the health care provider to specify the medical reason for sick leave.

Unused Sick Leave

Up to 40 hours of unused sick leave can be carried over to the next year. However, your employer is only required to let you use up to 40 hours of sick leave per year

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM RETALIATION FROM YOUR EMPLOYER FOR USING SICK LEAVE

Your employer cannot retaliate against you for:

  • Requesting and using sick leave;
  • Filing a complaint for alleged violations of the law;
  • Participating in an administrative proceeding regarding an alleged violation of the law;
  • Informing another person of that person’s potential rights under the law.

Retaliation includes any threat, discharge, suspension, demotion, reduction of hours, reporting or threating to report an employee’s suspected citizenship or immigration status, or the suspected citizenship or immigration status of a family member of the employee to a federal, state, or local agency.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO FILE A COMPLAINT

You can file a complaint with the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). Visit www.consumer.westchestergov.com or call (914) 995-2155 for information.