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State Expands COVID-19 Paid Leave Benefits for Health Care Employees with Repeat Quarantines

The Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Labor (DOL) have issued guidance to expand the paid sick leave available to health care employees who complete a period of quarantine or isolation and continue to test positive for COVID-19. Under the new guidance, health care employers are required to provide paid leave for up to three quarantine or isolation periods. The new guidance supplements earlier guidance issued jointly by the agencies on COVID-19 leave for health care employees.

New York law provides employees who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation for COVID-19, or whose minor dependent child is under such an order, with job protection, paid and unpaid sick leave, and access to expanded paid family leave and temporary disability. The extent of paid sick leave depends on the size of the employer and its net annual income. Generally, employers with under 100 employees must provide at least five days of paid sick leave, and those with 100 or more employees and all public employers must provide at least 14 days of paid leave. Small businesses with 10 or fewer employees and a net annual income of less than $1 million last year must provide employees with job protection.

Under the new guidance, issued on June 25th, health care employers are required to provide employees who complete a period of mandatory quarantine or isolation and who continue to test positive for COVID-19 with paid sick leave, whether or not the health care employee already has received sick leave for the first period of quarantine or isolation. To qualify, the health care employee must submit documentation from a licensed medical provider or testing facility of a positive test result for COVID-19. The health care employee does not need to submit documentation of a positive result if the employee’s employer gave the employee the test for COVID-19 that showed the positive result. The employee is deemed to be subject to a mandatory order of isolation from DOH and must not report to work.

A “health care employee” is defined as a person employed by a health care provider, including, among others, a long term care facility, nursing home, end stage renal disease facility, assisted living residence, adult care facility (ACF), residence for people with developmental disabilities, or home health provider.

More information about New York’s COVID-19 sick leave requirements is available here.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8838