On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed emergency sick leave legislation for workers quarantined or isolated as a result of COVID-19 (“COVID-19 Sick Leave”). What follows is a summary of some of the key components of the COVID-19 Sick Leave legislation.
The COVID-19-Sick Leave legislation provides sick leave in addition to whatever workers currently have under the CBAs due to government ordered quarantine/isolation related to COVID-19.
SUMMARY OF THE COVID-19 SICK LEAVE LAW
a. Employers with ten or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020: Each employee who is subject to a mandatory quarantine or isolation is entitled to UNPAID sick leave during the period of quarantine/isolation. Employee is also eligible immediately for paid family leave benefits (“PFL”) and disability benefits. Employee’s job is fully protected.
However, if an employer has net income greater than $1 million, leave is paid and PFL/disability kicks in after five days.
b. Employers with 11-99 employees: Employees subject to mandatory quarantine/isolation get at least five additional PAID sick days and then unpaid leave until end of quarantine/isolation. After 5 days paid, PFL/disability kicks in.
c. Employers with at least 100 employees: Employees subject to mandatory quarantine/isolation get an additional 14 PAID sick days.
d. Public employers: At least 14 days of paid sick leave during quarantine/isolation.
Upon return to work, employee restored to former position with same pay and terms and conditions. No discrimination or retaliation because of leave taken pursuant to law.
e. Employees will qualify for paid family leave to care for a minor dependent child (under age 18) who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.
Please Note: Voluntary Self Quarantine is NOT covered. A "mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation" must be an order issued by the State of New York, or department of health, or local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.
a. Travel to CDC Hot Zones Makes Employees Ineligible: Employees are not eligible for these benefits if the employee has returned to US after traveling to a country for which CDC has a level two or three travel health notice and the travel was not taken as part of the employee’s employment or at direction of employer. In this case, the employee can use already accrued leave or take unpaid leave.
b. Asymptomatic and Able to Work from Home Makes Employees Ineligible: If an employee is asymptomatic or has not been diagnosed with any medical condition AND is physically able to work under quarantine/isolation through remote access or similar means, they are NOT eligible for the emergency sick leave provided under this section.