NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than a million New Yorkers can start using their accrued paid sick leave.

The paid sick leave law, which went into effect on April 1, covers employees who work more than 80 hours during a calendar year in New York City.

Under the law, companies with five employees or more must provide paid sick leave up to a maximum of 40 hours per year, per employee.

“In our efforts to move toward economic equality in New York City, paid sick leave is a major step forward,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “The employers who drive our economy will see a healthier  and more productive workforce — and their employees will have the peace of mind, knowing they will not lose their jobs if they are too sick to work, or if their child needs emergency care.”

“A healthier city means a stronger city, and we should all be proud of this law,” de Blasio added.

“This is a very important law in terms of employee morale, employee productivity and lower health care costs,” Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

The department is urging both workers and companies to know their rights.

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