New York Paid Leave and COVID-19

In response to the novel coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has guaranteed workers job protection and financial compensation in three circumstances:

  1. If the employee is quarantined,
  2. If the employee has a minor dependent child who is quarantined, or
  3. If the employee needs to take care of a family member with a serious health condition.

An individual’s benefit is determined by the type of leave they request, the size of the employer as of January 1, 2020, and the employer’s net annual income. There are three classifications of employers:

  1. A small employer is defined as an employer with ten or fewer employees and a net annual income less than $1 million.
  2. A medium employer is defined as an employer with 11-99 employees and employers with 1-10 employees and a net annual income greater than $1 million.
  3. A large employer is an employer with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employees.

Individual Quarantine

If an individual is under mandatory or precautionary quarantine, does not have the ability to work remotely and works for a small employer, they may use NY Paid Family Leave, an insurance that provide up to 60% of their pay with a weekly maximum of $840.70. If the individual’s weekly wage is higher than $840.70, they may apply for disability benefits, to make up the wage gap, up to $2,043.92.

If an individual is under mandatory or precautionary quarantine, does not have the ability to work remotely and works for a medium employer, the employer must first provide for five days of paid leave. After the first five days of paid leave, the individual may utilize the benefits available to individuals working for small employers.

If an individual is under mandatory or precautionary quarantine, does not have the ability to work remotely and works for a large employer, the employer must provide the employee with 14 days of paid leave which should cover the quarantine period.

Note that there is no waiting period for an individual to become eligible for these benefits, the employee must not have the ability to work remotely to be eligible, and the employee is provided with job protection for the duration of their quarantine.

A Minor Child is Quarantined

If an individual has a minor child who is quarantined, and they are eligible for NY Paid Family Leave, they are entitled to 60% of their weekly wages up to $840.70, job protection, the continuance of their health insurance while on leave, and the employer is prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against the employee for taking or requesting paid family leave. An individual is eligible for paid family leave under New York law after 26 consecutive weeks of employment if they work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week or after 175 days of employment (does not have to be consecutive) if they work a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week.

Family Care Leave

If an individual has a qualifying family member who has contacted COVID-19 they may be eligible for up to 10 weeks of NY Paid Family Leave. To qualify the family member must fall into one of the following categories: souse, domestic partner, child/step-child, parent/step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grand-child. This benefit is a different type of leave than quarantine-based leave benefits; therefore, the individual would have to go through the employer’s traditional NY Paid Family Leave process.

The St. Louis employment attorneys at McMahon Berger have been representing employers across the country in labor and employment matters for over sixty years and are available to discuss these issues and others. As always, the foregoing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation as every situation must be evaluated on its own facts. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

Learn more aboutMegan D. Atzert
Megan represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. Her practice includes litigating employment claims under Federal and State laws. She works on behalf of management to investigate and respond to employee claims before administrative agencies.