Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be a struggle for many working parents, myself included, but having the ability to take time off, whether to take care of a sick child or taking a parent to an important doctor’s appointment, can make all the difference.
At the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), we take our responsibility to protect workers’ rights like the right to sick leave seriously, and we will not allow employers to violate those rights. We recently entered into settlement agreement with Con Ed over violations of the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law – over $200,000 in restitution to 480 part-time entry-level workers who were denied access to paid sick leave before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not only wrong to deny workers their rights, but in this case, it was also irresponsible when our city was in the midst of the pandemic.
And while the federal government recently declared the COVID-19 public health emergency over, covered workers in New York City still have the right to sick leave to care for themselves and their loved ones.
Under NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, covered workers have the right to use safe and sick leave to take care of themselves or a family member, or to seek legal and social services assistance if they or a family member may be the victim of any act or threat of domestic violence or unwanted sexual contact, stalking, or human trafficking.
Since the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law went into effect in April 2014, DCWP has closed more than 2,500 investigations and obtained resolutions requiring nearly $21 million in combined fines and restitution for more than 60,000 workers.
Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information about the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, including the required Notice of Employee Rights in multiple languages, one-page overviews for employers and employees, and the complaint form.
Complaints can be filed anonymously, and it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing complaints. At DCWP, we strive to build a culture of compliance with our city’s business community, but we do not hesitate to hold employers accountable for violating the rights of their workers.
Vilda Vera Mayuga is the Commissioner for the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP). Learn more about DWCP’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards—NYC’s central resource for workers—at nyc.gov/workers.