Ward Law LLC is dedicated to keeping our clients informed about all things COVID-19 related. Our business is to ensure that you have all the information you need to keep your business going. In that regard, please read below for updates on the State of New York.
This week, New York released a list of frequently asked questions related to New York Paid Family Leave, which can be accessed at https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/new-york-paid-family-leave-covid-19-faqs. The list provides a relatively comprehensive list of questions and answers on areas from eligibility, amounts of pay, job protection, and other areas. The list is primarily directed toward employees but provides valuable information that may be used by employers as well. If you are in New York, we encourage you to review the information. Below are some of the highlights:
If you work for an employer with 10 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020 and your employer made more than $1 million in 2019:
Your employer is required to provide you with five days of paid sick leave. After those days are used, you may be eligible for compensation for the remainder of your quarantine by applying for Paid Family Leave and disability benefits.
If you work for an employer with between 11-99 employees as of January 1, 2020:
Your employer is required to provide you with five days of paid sick leave. After those days are used, you may be eligible for a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability benefits.
If you work for an employer with 100 or more employees as of January 1, 2020:
Your employer is required to provide you with 14 days of paid sick leave for a COVID-19-related quarantine, which should cover the period of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or order of isolation.
If you work for a public employer:
All public employers (for example, town, public school, public college or university, district, county, city, village, fire district and state), must provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave, regardless of how many employees they have.
What is the maximum pay I will receive for COVID-19 quarantine leave?
- If you work for a public employer or an employer with more than 100 employees as of January 1, 2020, you are entitled to at least 14 days of paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay.
- If you work for an employer with 11 or more employees or for an employer with fewer than 10 employees as of January 1, 2020, whose income was greater than $1 million dollars in 2019 you are entitled to at least 5 sick days at your regular rate of pay. After those days are used, you may be eligible to receive your weekly wages through a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability benefits up to a maximum of $2,884.62 per week.
- If you work for an employer with fewer than 10 employees as of January 1, 2020, whose income was $1 million dollars or less in 2019, then you may be eligible to receive your weekly wages through a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability benefits up to a maximum of $2,884.62 per week.
At what rate of pay does leave need to be paid?
For the applicable paid leave period (5 or 14 days), employers must pay the amount that the worker would have otherwise received had they been continuing to work for that period based upon the amount that the employee was scheduled or would have been scheduled had the employer’s operations continued in its normal due course.
How many days of leave are part-time employees required to be paid for?
Part-time employees should be paid for the number of days/amount of time during 5 or 14 day period that they are required to receive pay that they would have otherwise received had the employer’s operations continued in its normal due course.
Is the number of paid days work or calendar days?
The number of paid days is calendar days, and the pay required should represent the amount of money that the employee would have otherwise received for the 5 or 14 day period.
When is payment required to be made to employees eligible to receive paid sick leave?
The paid sick leave payments are subject to the frequency of pay requirements of Section 191 of the Labor Law and leave payments should be made in the paycheck for the applicable pay period for the leave.
Can my employer require me to use my existing sick leave accruals or other accruals (paid time off) for a COVID-19 quarantine order?
Employers required to provide paid sick leave must provide that leave separate from any accruals.
Is my job protected during COVID-19 quarantine leave?
Yes, you cannot be fired because you took leave. Your employer cannot fire you or take action against you because you took leave and you are entitled to be restored to the position you held prior to taking leave. Any COVID-19 quarantine leave should not be counted as an absence that may lead to or result in discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, or any other adverse action.
My child’s school is closed due to Coronavirus/COVID-19. Can I take Paid Family Leave/disability benefits quarantine leave to stay home with them?
It depends. If the school is closed due to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, department of health, local board of health, or government entity, you may be eligible to take paid family leave. If your child’s school closes for preventative social distancing, you may want to check with your employer to see if there are any benefits that may be available to you.
As an employer, what part of the Paid Family Leave/disability benefits quarantine leave application do I need to fill out?
As the employer your responsibility is to complete and return to the employee Part B of the Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1) and either section 3 of the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL section 4 of the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine PFL – Child, depending on the leave the employee is requesting. These sections must be completed and returned to the employee within three business days.
For any questions about New York paid family leave, please email the Ward Law helpline any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.