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New York State Guarantees Leave for Employees Impacted by COVID-19
New York State Guarantees Leave for Employees Impacted by COVID-19

New York state employers must offer leave in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is effective immediately. Such leave applies to employees required or ordered to quarantine. In addition to leave, employees will also possess job protection from any COVID-19 related employment action.

Importantly, qualified employees include those “subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.” With that said, however, asymptomatic or undiagnosed employees teleworking during the quarantine period are exempt from this law. Moreover, should a quarantined employee return from non-work travel to a CDC-cited “level two” or “level three” territory and knew of the CDC’s travel notice, such individuals receive unpaid leave for the duration of the quarantine or may elect to receive company benefits.

Below, the relevant leave requirements are charted. In addition, all leave provided under this law shall be independent from and in addition to any other applicable paid sick leave pursuant to company policy or New York City requirement. Further, the election of the below listed leave time shall not count against an employee’s sick leave, unless the employee so chooses.

Employer

Leave

Number of employees: 10 or fewer (as of 1/1/20)

Income: Employer has  a  net  income  less than or equal to one million dollars in the previous tax year

Unpaid sick leave until quarantine period ends.

Number of employees: 10 or fewer (as of 1/1/20)

Income: Employer has  a  net  income over one million dollars in the previous tax year

5 days of paid sick leave, followed by unpaid leave until quarantine period ends.

Number of employees: 11 to 99 employees (as of 1/1/20)

5 days of paid sick leave, followed by unpaid leave until quarantine period ends.

Number of employees: 100 or more employees (as of 1/1/20)

14 days of paid sick leave. (The quarantine period is currently recommended to be 14 days).

Of note, however, the above-stated leave provided under this law shall not be in addition to the federal benefits. Instead, the state law aims to supplement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed on March 18, 2020. Therefore, New York State benefits are unavailable to individuals receiving federal benefits, unless the State’s benefits provide greater relief.

Upon the expiration of leave, participants shall be entitled to resume work to the same position as previously held, at the same compensation and under the same terms. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against any employee because he or she has utilized the proscribed leave under this law.

Our team of labor and employment law attorneys are available to assist businesses with their understanding of and compliance with this new law and any other applicable federal and state employment laws. Further, the team can assist with drafting and updating Coronavirus policies and procedures, drafting furlough or layoff notices, and personnel or wage and hour questions.

  • Michael A. Shadiack
    Partner

    Michael Shadiack is the Chair of Connell Foley’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. Representing a broad spectrum of employers and management personnel in the private and public sectors, he provides litigation defense and ...

  • Scott P. Humphreys
    Associate

    Scott Humphreys is a litigation associate practicing in the areas of labor and employment, and environmental law. Prior to joining Connell Foley, Scott was a law clerk to the Hon. Sallyanne Floria, A.J.S.C. of the Superior Court of ...

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