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Here’s how paid sick leave works: Will yours expire on January 1?

What happens to unused sick time in New York? The year is quickly coming to an end, and many workers for one reason or another have not used all of their allotted sick time.

A good question was recently posed to News10NBC, which explored the topic.

What happens to sick hours earned throughout the year when January 1, 2022 arrives?

The answer is not too complicated, but there is a caveat.

Here’s what the state Department of Labor says about it. “Sick leave that is unused by an employee over the course of the year must be carried over to the next calendar
year,” the rules state. “Employers may limit employee use to the number of hours that the employee is entitled to use within any calendar year.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

What’s the catch? What do the annual limitations on paid sick leave mean?

Simply put, your employer has the ability to cap the amount of sick time a person takes in any given year. So, employees will likely always have more sick time than they can legally use given the way the system is set up.


How is sick time calculated? Is it accrued?

Unlike vacation time, which can be accrued and distributed over the course of a year – sick time is guaranteed up front.

In other words, if an employee gets 40 hours of sick time per year based on state guidance – they have all of it on January 1.

Many employers grant a few hours of vacation time per week completed of employment. Sick time does not get calculated the same way. An annual leave calendar can be the best solution for this calculation.



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