New York Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In New York, an employer is not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. NY Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. NY Labor Law 198-c.



Neither New York’s Legislature nor its court have explicitly stated whether an employer may implement a policy or enter into employment contracts requiring employees to forfeit accrued vacation upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. However, an employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. Employees must be provided adequate notice of any such policy for it to have effect. See Gennes v. Yellow Book of NY, 23 A.D.3d 520, 806 N.Y.S.2d 646 (NY Sup. Ct. App. 2005); Mahoney v. Olean General Hospital, 277 A.D.2d 1046, 716 N.Y.S.2d 174 (NY Sup. Ct. App. 2000); Glenville Gage Co. v. Industrial Board of Appeals of NY, 52 N.Y.2d 777, 417 N.E.2d 1009 (NY Ct. App. 1980); NY Labor Law § 195(5)

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. NY Labor Law § 198-c

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. NY Dept of Labor FAQs.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees are given prior notice of the policy. See Glenville Gage Co. v. Industrial Board of Appeals of NY, 52 N.Y.2d 777, 417 N.E.2d 1009 (NY Ct. App. 1980); NY Labor Law § 195(5)

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as employees are given prior notice of the policy. See Glenville Gage Co. v. Industrial Board of Appeals of NY, 52 N.Y.2d 777, 417 N.E.2d 1009 (NY Ct. App. 1980); NY Labor Law § 195(5)



Sick Leave

New York law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. NY Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in New York may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.



Holiday Leave

New York law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In New York, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our New York State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of New York as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.



Jury Duty Leave

An employer who employs more than (10) employees must pay an employee the first $40 of the employee’s regular daily wages for the first three (3) days of jury service. In all other instances, an employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent serving on a jury.

An employer may not discharge or penalize an employee who is summoned to serve as a juror and who notifies the employer to that effect prior to the commencement of a term of service.

New York Judiciary Code 519



Voting Leave

New York law requires employers to provide employees time off work so that an employee’s time off hours combined with his or her off-duty hours provide the employee sufficient time to vote while polls are open. Only two hours of the voting leave must be paid. An employee is considered to have sufficient off-duty time to vote if he or she has four (4) consecutive off-duty hours to vote while polls are open.

To be eligible for the voting leave, an employee must request the leave at least two (2) working days but not more than ten (10) working days before the day of the vote or election.

Not less than ten (10) working days before an election, each employer is required to post in a conspicuous location a notice informing employees of their rights and obligations to take voting leave.

NY Election Law 3-110



Bereavement Leave

New York law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employer may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.