New York City is at it again – continuing its quest to be the most employee-friendly jurisdiction in the country. On January 8, 2019, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced proposed legislation that would require private employers to provide employees with mandated paid time off/vacation. If passed by the City Council, the law would be the first of its kind in the nation, requiring employers to provide paid time to use for vacation and other purposes, as opposed to sick leave.

The proposed legislation would apply to all private employers with five or more employees, and would exclude contract employees and freelancers. Under the proposal, paid time off would accrue at a rate of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 10 paid workdays off per year. Employees would become eligible after 120 days of employment. Part-time employees would be eligible for limited paid time off, based on the number of hours worked.

The law would allow employers to require employees to provide up to two weeks’ notice prior to taking paid time off. Employers would also would be permitted to deny leave under specific circumstances, including if too many employees requested the same days off.

Employees would be permitted to use the paid time off for any reason, including vacation, family time or religious reasons. This time off would be in addition to the five days of paid safe and sick leave under New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.

The proposal, which is expected to be drafted into an actual bill by the mayor’s office in the coming weeks, will require approval by the City Council – a typically employee-friendly legislature – to become binding law. While the proposal is certainly a long way from becoming law, the business community should nevertheless monitor its progress. If you have any questions or concerns about the mayor’s proposal, Reed Smith’s experienced Labor & Employment Group is ready to speak with you. For more information regarding this law and the accompanying guidance, please contact your Reed Smith attorney.