COVID-19 Paid Leave in New York

Please be aware that at midnight on September 30th the Federal paid COVID-19 leave plan expired. The plan originally enacted as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), later extended under the name of the American Rescue Plan Act.

What is COVID-19 Paid Leave in New York?

If you were providing leave entitlements to your employees under the Federal COVID-19 paid leave plan, you will now need to provide adhere to the parameters of the NYS COVID-19 paid leave plan. Specifically, employees that utilized the Federal COVID-19 paid leave entitlement earlier this year may have been depleted/voided/nullified the NYS COVID-19 paid leave at the same time, as these plans were meant to run concurrently. There is no reset to the leave entitlement with the shift over to the NYS COVID-19 paid leave plan, unless there is a qualified 2nd or 3rd occurrence as clarified below.

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

A clarification on the NYS COVID-19 Paid Leave

First Use of Leave: Employee is required to quarantine due to exposure to an individual who tested positive but does not test positive him/herself.

  • FFCRA may still be applied up until September 30, 2021
  • FFCRA exhausted the first 5 or 14 days of the NYS COVID EPSL and may be ineligible for further leave under NYS.

Second Use of Leave: In the future, the same employee tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Only a positive test will deem the employee eligible for a second use of leave.

Third Use of Leave: At the end of the initial quarantine period the same employee is still testing positive for COVID-19.

  • Testing before returning back to work is not a requirement however if this scenario applies, the employee will be eligible to take a third use of leave.
  • A positive test must be produced.

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

Paid vaccination leave is still in effect, and not covered under the NYS COVID-19 paid leave plan. The leave entitlement requires employers to provide employees with “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed 4 hours” per vaccine dose, to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This time must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay for the entire leave period. This leave plan will expire on December 31st, 2022.


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

New York HR Services