NYS COVID-19 Pay…Not Gone Yet!
Employers are reminded that when New York legislators and the governor enacted supplemental paid sick leave and paid family leave requirements connected to COVID-19 in March 2020, they did not specify an end date nor did they include a “trigger provision” that details circumstances under which the obligation begins and ends. In a nutshell, the Empire State obligations still apply when there is a “a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health, or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.” As a practical matter, New York follows CDC guidelines, which no longer require precautionary quarantine for COVID-19 exposure, so this leave arises when a person is isolating with an actual COVID-19 infection based on a positive test.
The New York State Health Department mirrors the CDC’s guidance for COVID-19, which no longer recommends quarantine for potential exposure to the virus, but still advises masks to be worn for 10 full days after exposure. The CDC guidance continues to recommend a 5-day isolation for individuals who have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
New York State COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave is a law that remains in effect with no expiration date. For a change to be made to this law, it would need to be amended or repealed.
New York employers must continue to provide COVID-19 paid sick leave to employees who cannot effectively work from home and need to isolate due to their own suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Since isolation orders are no longer being provided by a government entity, employers must accept the affirmation of isolation form provided by the state.
According to state guidance, employees are eligible for three separate instances of COVID-19 paid sick leave. (total since 2020, not per year)
Employees cannot be required to use their regular NYS Paid Sick Leave and/or Company-provided PTO until they have exhausted their 3 instances of NYS COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave.
Chamber members with HR questions can contact Jennifer Suppé, Manager, Organizational Culture and HR Services at (585) 256-4608 or email her, or Cindy Owen, HR Services Partner at (585) 256-4606, or email her, or Kathy Richmond, Sr. Director, HR Services, at (585) 256-4618 or email her. HR Helpline access varies by membership tier.