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HR Alert: COVID-19 Sick Leave – It’s Still a Thing

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Autumn’s on its way, and another strain of COVID-19 seems to be worming its way into our lives. Let’s hope it stays away, but in the event it affects your workplace, remember that New York still mandates that employers provide leave for COVID-related quarantines and illness. This is in addition to the already-mandatory New York Paid Sick Leave (PSL).

What’s an employer to do?

First, know the rules.

  • If you had 10 or fewer employees and made $1MM annually or had 11-99 employees on 1/1/2020 [a long time ago], you must pay for up to 5 days of COVID leave. For 100 or more employee companies, you must pay for 14 days of COVID leave.
  • The number of employees includes part-time folks and employees working outside of New York State.
  • The trigger occurs when your employee is isolating with an actual or suspected COVID-19 infection. But remember, if the employee isn’t any longer subject to an order of quarantine or isolation, they’re no longer eligible.
  • An employee is entitled to up to 3 rounds of COVID sick leave. After that, there’s no additional COVID leave [but there’s always New York PSL, so beware].
  • There’s no waiting period, and you must pay the compensation with the employee’s regularly-scheduled paycheck.
  • COVID leave is job-protected which means you can’t discipline or terminate an employee who takes it.

Second, check out these FAQs published by the New York Department of Labor for more details.

And, third, remember that The Coppola Firm’s employment practice group members are your trusted partners.

If you’ve got questions about leave laws in New York, call us. We can help navigate the laws and ensure that you have policies in place to protect your business. We can be reached at 716-839.9700 or info@coppolalegal.com.

We’re here to help.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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