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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York state enacted a temporary emergency paid sick leave law for workers subject to a “mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation”.

On March 18, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law which provides job protected leave benefits to employees effected by COVID-19, effective immediately upon passage.  Specifically, the law requires:

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million to provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to paid family leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine
  • Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million to provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to paid family leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine
  • Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as public employers (regardless of number of employees), to provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order

These paid sick leave requirements only apply to employees subject to a “mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation” issued by the State of New York, Dept. of Health, Local Board of Health, or other government entity with the power to make such an order.

Additionally, the paid sick leave provisions do not apply to employees subject to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine because that employee returned to the United States after traveling to a country for which the CDC has a level 2 or 3 travel health notice, when the travel was not employment related.

Employees are not eligible to take paid sick leave if they (i) are physically able to work remotely while quarantined, or (ii) are asymptomatic and have not yet been diagnosed with COVID-19.