Good Question: A loophole in paid sick leave law?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— It’s one of the biggest changes this year when it comes to new laws– guaranteed paid sick time off work.
Private sector employees in New York can get anywhere from 40 to 56 hours of paid sick leave annually.

Now that we’re three weeks into 2021 with the law on the books, News10NBC’s Brennan Somers is hearing from local workers asking about it.

Here’s the main issue recently: can companies take away one of your vacation days if you have to use a paid sick day? Is that a loophole in the law allowing companies to get around the state mandates?

NY’s Department of Labor has an FAQ online which kind of gets into that. It’s about how companies have to pay you for sick days but no one has to pay for or give you any vacation time if that isn’t their policy.

And on the paid sick leave site here’s a whole section covering retaliation. It states "An employer cannot retaliate against an employee in any way for exercising their rights to use sick leave."

Somers asked NYDOL straight up if your bosses cut your vacation time if you use sick days. A spokesperson told him without knowing all the facts they can’t talk about individual situations.

You can file a complaint with DOL’s Division of Labor Standards at or by calling 1-888-52-LABOR.


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