NYS Emergency Paid Sick Leave guarantees sick leave for individuals who have been quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
Description of NYS Emergency Paid Sick Leave
The New York State Emergency Paid Sick Leave is an expansion of NYS’ Paid Family Leave for those employees ordered to quarantine or isolate. It requires employers to provide leave for the duration of the quarantine. Whether the leave is paid or unpaid depends on the size of the employer.
- Employers with 10 or fewer employees (as of January 1, 2020) and a net income of less than $1 million shall provide unpaid sick leave until the termination of any quarantine or isolation;
- Employers with 11-99 employees (as of January 1, 2020) and employers with 10 or fewer employees (as of January 1, 2020) and a net income greater than $1 million shall provide at least 5 days paid sick leave, and then unpaid sick leave until the termination of any quarantine or isolation; and
- Employers with 100 or more employees (as of January 1, 2020), as well as public employers, regardless of the number of employees, shall provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave during any order of quarantine or isolation.
Employees may be eligible for the NYS Paid Family Leave (https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/employers) or Disability Insurance http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/DisabilityBenefits/Employer/introToLaw.jsp after above benefits have been exhausted.
Qualifying for NYS Emergency Paid Sick Leave
To qualify for NYS emergency paid sick leave employees must be subject to an official order of quarantine or isolation or be parents caring for children under such an order.
An official order of quarantine or isolation means a local health department ordered the individual to quarantine or self-isolate because they have COVID-19 or are suspected of having it. If an individual is unable to get an order from their local health department, their healthcare provider can also document the need to quarantine, although the individual may still need to produce documentation from the local health department within 30 days.
Note 1: There are no immigration status-related restrictions on eligibility.
Note 2: NYS Emergency Paid Sick Leave does not cover employees who have voluntarily chosen to quarantine or self-isolate. In addition, it will not apply to quarantined employees who are asymptomatic and able to perform their job functions remotely.
Note 3: Leave pay is also available to the self-employed via a tax credit when filing self-employment taxes with the federal government.
New York employees will forgo their paid sick leave benefits from New York’s COVID-19 paid sick leave law if they engage in non-essential travel to high risk states (listed above). High risk states are any state that has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average. For a listing of high risk states visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
This provision does not apply if the employee travels for work or at the employer’s request. The provision included in Executive Order 202.45 mirrors the law’s existing provision that makes New Yorkers ineligible for paid sick leave if they travel to any country designated as having a level two or three travel health notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Applying for NYS Emergency Paid Sick Leave
For a comprehensive overview of application procedures visit: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/if-you-are-quarantined-yourself.
NYS provides a comprehensive overview of application procedures for available job-protected paid time off (both federal and state) for the individual’s own quarantine on this page.
ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH FOR ISOLATION
The Order of the Commissioner of Health for Isolation created a process for NYC residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19, to receive documentation necessary to claim paid sick leave from their employer under NYS’s COVID-19 paid sick leave law.
- To view the Order visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-paid-sick-leave-order.pdf.
- For a FAQ on the Order visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-paid-sick-leave-order-faq.pdf.
FILING A COMPLAINT
If a worker’s employer does not provide the required paid sick leave, they may file a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor at https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm.
Coordination of Federal, NYS and NYC Paid Sick Leave
COORDINATION WITH FEDERAL EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE
Individuals who are covered by the Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave or the Federal Emergency Family and Medical leave are not eligible for NYS Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
NYS law requires that employers apply the plan most generous to its employees.
NAVIGATING FEDERAL AND NYS PAID SICK LEAVE
NYC also has a paid sick leave act. For a summary of the law and a chart detailing federal, NYS and NYC Paid Leave, visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/workers/Complying-with-NYC-Workplace-Laws-During-COVID-19.pdf.