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New York COVID Pay and COVID-19 Paid Leave

As of December 31, 2020 employers are no longer required to offer COVID-19 Paid Leave under federal law and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), later extended under the name of the American Rescue Plan Act. However, employers who did offer COVID-19 paid leave between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021 may be eligible for employer tax credits

At the time federal requirements expired, New York State's COVID-19 Paid Leave Law was still in effect. However, as a result of the New York State 2024 Budget Bill, COVID-19 Paid Leave in New York is coming to an end.

As of May 11, 2023, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) lifted the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration. While the only regulations still in place are in regard to COVID-19 Paid Leave, the state still offers current guidance for new york employers regarding COVID.

Update 04.22.24: As a result of the New York State Budget Bill for 2024, New York requirement that employers provide COVID-19 Paid Leave will end on July 31, 2025.

What Does the New York State Budget Bill for 2024 Mean for Employers?

With the passing of the New York State Budget Bill for 2025, employers will no longer be required to provide COVID pay to employees who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order or quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19, starting July 31, 2025.

Additionally, this ends the ability to apply for COVID-19 Paid Family Leave if someone’s isolation period extends beyond the allotted number of COVID-19 pay days provided by an employer.

Please keep in mind that employees may still be eligible for FMLA if the employee has a more serious diagnosis of COVID-19 which triggers a need for leave under the law for a serious health condition.

What is COVID-19 Paid Leave in New York?

Separate from the leave entitlements to your employees under the Federal COVID-19 paid leave plan, New York employers also needed to adhere to the parameters of the NYS COVID-19 paid leave plan when it was in effect.

COVID-19 Paid leave employer mandated that employers provide job-protected, paid leave in the event they, or their minor dependent child, must quarantine or isolate as a result of COVID-19.

Employees could receive financial compensation through a combination of benefits, which included:

  • Employer-Provided COVID-19 Sick Leave
  • Disability Benefits
  • Paid Family Leave
    • Paid Family Leave may also be used to care for a family member who has contracted COVID-19, which may qualify as a serious health condition

These benefits were not available to employees who can work through remote access or other means.

Here is what employers should know regarding NYS COVID-19 Paid Leave.

New York COVID-19 Paid Leave in 2024

Employers in New York are required to provide anywhere from 5 to 14 days of paid sick leave in the case that an employee must quarantine or isolate due to COVID (as described above), up until the deadline in July 2025.

How many days of leave an employee may receive depends on the number of employees the employer has and their net annual income.

Original NYS COVID-19 Sick Leave Provisions

In March 2020, the NYS Legislature passed legislation requiring employers with employees in New York State to provide job-protected leave to employees when the employee is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine issued by the New York State Department of Health, a local board of health or any other governmental entity duly authorized to issue such an order related to COVID-19.  The amount of job-protected leave required and whether the leave must be paid is determined by employer size and net income as follows:

Employer Size

Employer Net Income from 2019

Provided to Employee

1-10 employees

$1 million or less

Employers are not required to use paid sick days. Employees would have to use PFL or disability benefits.

1-10 employees

$1 million or more

Employers must provide at least five (5) paid sick days.

11-99 employees

 

Employers must provide at least five (5) paid sick days.

100+ employees

 

Employers must provide at least 14 paid sick days.

Public employers (regardless of size)

 

Employers must provide at least 14 paid sick days.

Note: Paid leave entitlements of 5 or 14 days were 5 or 14 consecutive calendar days. Thus, employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine are eligible for paid leave for a period of 5 or 14 consecutive calendar days. Employees need only be paid for those days during that 5 or 14-consecutive-day period, which they would normally have been scheduled to work. 

NYS Paid Vaccination Leave 2024

Paid vaccination leave is no longer in effect. The leave entitlement required employers to provide employees with “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed 4 hours” per vaccine dose, to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The time had to be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay for the entire leave period. This leave plan expired on December 31st, 2022.

Questions?

Contact us with questions regarding COVID-19 Paid Leave. For businesses that are struggling with compliance management and are looking for help may want to consider HR services, as companies that fall out of compliance may find themselves facing serious New York labor law penalties and fines.

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