Tonight, Governor Cuomo announced that a deal has been reached to provide all employees with job-protected leave in the event they are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of isolation or quarantine, subject to certain exceptions. The terms of the deal are set out in a legislative program bill, and some of the most critical provisions are summarized below.
The type of leave employees are entitled to depends in part on the size of the employer. An employer’s size is determined by the number of people in its employ as of January 1, 2020.
In the case of employers with ten or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less as reported on the previous year’s tax return, employees are entitled to unpaid job-protected leave for the duration of any mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19 that is ordered by the State of New York, the Department of Health, a local board of health or any government agency authorized to issue such an order (the “Agencies”). Employees are entitled to collect disability and paid family leave during this time.
In the case of employers with ten or fewer employees and net income greater than $1 million as reported on the previous year’s tax return, and employers with between and eleven and ninety-nine employees, employees are entitled to five paid sick days and unpaid job-protected leave thereafter for the duration of any period of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19 that is ordered by one of the Agencies. Employees are entitled to collect disability and paid family leave during the unpaid portion of the job-protected leave.
In the case of employers with 100 or more employees, employers must provide fourteen calendar days of paid sick leave to each employee for the duration of any period of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19 that is ordered by one of the Agencies.
To the extent employers are required to provide paid sick leave, such leave is in addition to and may not be deducted from an employee’s existing accrued paid time off.
No paid leave will be provided to any employee who becomes quarantined or isolated as a result of having traveled to a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued a level 2 or level 3 health notice, so long as such travel was not required by the employer and the employee had notice of the CDC health notice. In these circumstances, an employee may use accrued sick time or, if such time has been exhausted, take unpaid leave.
Paid leave also need not be provided to employees who are asymptomatic or have not yet been diagnosed with a medical condition and are physically able to work while quarantined or in isolation, whether through remote access or otherwise.
Additionally, paid leave is not required where an employer closes due to a reason related to COVID-19 or because of a mandatory order of closure by an authorized government agency. In such situations, employees may be entitled to unemployment benefits without being subject to a waiting period.
This is a developing situation, and we will provide updates in the near future and when the bill is signed into law.