Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Genevieve M. Murphy-Bradacs, Ann Knuckles Mahoney, and Jenna D. Russell of Epstein Becker Green have recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: “Latest New York State Department of Labor Guidance Significantly Expands COVID-19 Sick Leave Obligations”.
The following is an except:
On January 20, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (“NY DOL”) issued another round of guidance (“Guidance”) on the use of COVID-19 sick leave under the New York State COVID-19 Sick Leave Law (“Law”). Supplementing prior state guidance, this Guidance appears to actually expand the Law by increasing the availability of paid leave. For example, the Guidance now obligates an employer to pay an employee who is required to remain out of the workplace by the employer due to actual or potential exposure to the virus. Under the Law, however, an employee is entitled to paid leave only if he or she is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation (“QO”).
As we previously reported, the Law provides all employees subject to a QO issued by an authorized governmental entity with up to 14 calendar days of COVID-19 sick leave, depending on the employer’s size and net income. The Law also mandates job protection for all employees for the duration of the quarantine, regardless of employer size or profitability, and, where applicable, provides access to expanded paid family leave and temporary disability benefits as well. Benefits under the Law, however, are not available to employees who are asymptomatic or not yet diagnosed with any medical condition where the employee is physically able to work remotely while under a QO.