NYC employers: Leave policies must cover ‘personal events’

The New York City Council has amended the city’s Fair Workweek Law to allow employees to make temporary changes to their work schedules for “personal events.” The bill defines personal events as:

  • The need for a caregiver to provide care to a minor child or care recipient
  • An employee’s need to attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits to which the employee, a family member or the employee’s care recipient is a party
  • Any circumstance that would constitute a basis for permissible use pursuant to New York City’s Earned Sick and Safe Time Act.

Employees needing personal event changes to their schedule can seek “a limited alteration in the hours or times that or locations where an employee is expected to work, including, but not limited to, using paid time off, working remotely, swapping or shifting work hours and using short-term unpaid leave.” Employers can either agree to the schedule change or allow the employee to take unpaid leave for the event.

Employers must grant personal event requests twice in a calendar year and the requests can be for a maximum of one business day. Alternatively, employers may allow an employee to use two days for an event once a year.

The bill will take effect later this year. Employers that operate in New York City should discuss compliance issues with their attorneys.