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Part-time worker questions whether district can deny her PTO for mammogram

A revised law guarantees municipal and school district employees, whether full- or part-time, paid time off for cancer screenings, an attorney says. 

Municipal and school district employees can get 4

Municipal and school district employees can get 4 hours of PTO for cancer screenings.  Photo Credit: Getty Images

DEAR CARRIE: When I asked my human-resources person for paid time off to go get a mammogram, I was told I was not entitled to do so because I'm a part-time employee. I work in a Nassau County school district.  Is this denial legal?  -- Contested Leave

DEAR CONTESTED: It appears that some executives at your company need to bone up on recent changes in the law.  Both full- and part-time public employees qualify for the leave, said employment attorney Jessica Moller, a partner at Bond, Schoeneck & King in Garden City.  Here’s her summary of the changes:

“Effective March 18, 2018, Section 159-b of the Civil Service Law was amended to allow any municipal or school district employee up to four hours of paid leave in order to get a cancer screening. “

And, she added, that section of the law “previously applied to breast cancer screenings only (a similar leave was provided for prostate screenings), but with this new amendment, the law applies to all types of cancer screening."

She noted that this leave time cannot be charged against an employee’s accrued paid time off such as vacation or sick days.

DEAR CARRIE: I have worked as a home-health aide since 2009. I average more than 30 hours a week.  My problem is that I don’t receive a pay stub. I would like to receive one to see what is being taken out of my check. But I am told that the only way I can get a pay stub is to come into the office and have one printed out for me.  I don’t go into the office that often because I have to take a cab to get there. And it seems silly to pay for a cab to get a piece of paper. I asked the office manager if she could mail me a copy. She said I needed to join the 21st century. Does the office have to mail me a pay stub?  -- Snubbed on Stub

DEAR SNUBBED:  First of all, state law says you are entitled to a wage statement, said employment attorney Michael J. Borrelli of  Borrelli & Associates in Great Neck.

So if you request a pay stub, the office needs to ensure that you receive it and on your payday, he said.

“Making the statement available for pick-up is not giving it to you and does not ensure that you receive it,” Borrelli said. “If you don’t have a wage statement in your hand on payday, the employer is failing to meet its duty to furnish a wage statement.”

Additionally, state labor law forbids your employer from charging you for a wage statement, Borrelli said. Why is that relevant here? Your cab rides mean your employer is essentially charging you for the stub, he said. So at the very least you should be reimbursed for the transportation, he said.

“If an employer is going to require you to travel to the office to pick up the check, it needs to pay you for that travel,” he said.

Employers have a number of options for getting wage statement to employees. For example, some employers elect to send the statements electronically.

“When an employer does this, they need to make sure they also provide access to a computer, with a printer, on company time, so that employees can print out their statements,” Borrelli said.

Here’s the bottom line:   “Regardless of the method of delivery,” he said,  “the law is clear: It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees receive a wage statement on payday.”

It seems that your employer needs to rethink how it is handling your request for a wage statement.

Go to bit.ly/LIscreening for more on civil service law and paid time off for cancer screening.

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