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Governor Cuomo Announces Paid Sick Leave Bill for New Yorkers Impacted by COVID-19

OVERVIEW

Yesterday evening, March 17, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a three-way agreement with the Legislature on a bill ensuring job protection and pay for New Yorkers quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

New York State will guarantee two full weeks of paid leave for all state workers who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine.

The bill also includes a permanent comprehensive paid sick leave policy, originally proposed in the Governor's FY 2021 Executive Budget.

NYS is recruiting qualified retired and in-training medical professionals to supplement hospital personnel. Healthcare professionals who wish to enlist can contact ny.gov/assistance.

Governor Cuomo additionally directed the greater NY Hospital Association and Healthcare Association of NYS to work with 1199 SEIU to create and expand child care services and facilities at hospitals in further support of the hospital workforce. Their plan is due Friday, March 20.

Drive-through COVID-19 mobile testing facilities open today in Nassau County, Long Island. Following soon are Suffolk County, Rockland County, and Staten Island.

DETAILS

To address the immediate needs of employees subject to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation, the bill provides the following:

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will 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 including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
  • Employers with 11–99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will 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 including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

The comprehensive paid sick leave legislation will take effect 180 days after enactment, providing:

  • Employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of unpaid sick leave each year.
  • Employers with 5–99 employees and employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave each year.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees will provide at least 7 days of paid sick leave each year.

We will continue to update you with further developments, including details regarding the paid sick leave policy. To stay updated with the latest information, sign up for our mailing lists.

Andrew Kimler is a partner at Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP, where he heads the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice and is a key member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Employment Law, and LGBTQ Representation Practices. He regularly writes and lectures on employment law matters. For more information, contact Mr. Kimler at akimler@vmmlegal.com or 516-437-4385 x122.

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