Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
The Westchester County Human Rights Commission, the agency responsible for conducting public outreach for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (the “Sick Leave Law” or the “Law”), published a copy of the Law, a Notice of Employee Rights (the “Notice”), and Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) — just hours before the Sick Leave Law went into effect this week.
The Commission’s FAQs (divided up between employer questions and employee questions) mostly restate, but do not clarify, the Law’s requirements. Interestingly, the Commission is not the County agency tasked with enforcing the Law; the Westchester County Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) handles enforcement. At this time it is unclear whether the DCA will follow the few interpretive statements in the FAQs or any other guidance issued by the Commission.
Under the Sick Leave Law, employers are required to give a copy of the Notice and the Law to employees at the commencement of employment or within 90 days of the effective date of the law (here, July 9, 2019), whichever is later.
The Sick Leave Law also requires employers to conspicuously display a copy of the Law and a County-issued poster in a place or places accessible to all employees, in each Westchester County workplace. The documents must be posted in English, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the County. At this time, the Commission has not published a separate “poster,” and has not yet clarified if the Notice and the statutorily referenced “poster” are one in the same and whether the Notice should be posted. The Commission has also yet to make any materials available in any language other than English.
Per the Law, an employer that willfully violates the notice and posting requirements shall be subject to a civil fine in an amount not to exceed $500 for each separate offense.
For more details on the Law, please refer to our previously published Insight, Paid Sick Leave Changes in New York City and Westchester County Impact Empire State Employers.