Your Right to Leave From Work
Although unknown to many New Yorkers, New York State and New York City employees have the right to take a temporary leave from work under certain circumstances. Whether the employee requires leave because of a pregnancy, illness, the illness of a family member, parenting responsibilities, or a disability, federal, state and local laws provide employees with the right to leave work, under certain conditions, for limited periods of time, without retaliation or other adverse penalties.
For example, NYC employees who require leave because of complications from a pregnancy or a temporary physical impairment are entitled to have their employer consider a request for leave, for a reasonable period of time, as an accommodation of their disability. However, many employers are unaware of or incorrectly interpret these rights.
The federal Family Medical Leave Act also provides certain employees with an enforceable right of up to 90 days of leave because of a "serious medical condition."
In addition, NYC recently passed several laws providing many NYC employees with the right to paid sick time.
If you feel you have been prevented from taking a leave of absence because of a disability or serious health condition, or have been penalized for taking leave, you may have a claim against your employer for back pay, front pay, reinstatement, and/or punitive damages.