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First paid-sick-leave fines are on the way

The Department of Consumer Affairs is in the process of issuing warnings of imminent fines to five companies for violating the city's newly expanded paid-sick-leave law, the first since the law was adopted earlier this year, a spokeswoman said.

Two businesses have received "notices of a hearing," informing them that they may face the maximum penalty if they take their case to a hearing, while three others will receive notices soon, she said. Each has one more chance to settle prior to a hearing.

The five businesses run the gamut: two are restaurants, one is a parking garage, one is a medical office, and the last a nonprofit. The fine for violating the law, which requires businesses with as few as five employees to provide paid time off for their workers, is $500, and can rise to $750 and $1,000 for repeat offenders.

The agency has received 355 complaints, but only 245 are under its jurisdiction. The remaining 110 complaints are either outside New York City, pertain to the Affordable Care Act or concern employees who have yet to accrue the relevant number of hours to be eligible.

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