The New York State Senate and Assembly were in session today to vote on a paid sick leave bill. We had reported yesterday that this would be a comprehensive bill dealing with paid sick leave that would include employee protections for those out as a result of COVID-19. However, it was announced that the permanent provisions were going to be taken out and dealt with as part of the budget negotiations, and the bill that was voted on focused exclusively on the employee protections. Both houses have passed this updated version and Governor Cuomo has signed the bill.
The bill provides protections for employees who are subject to mandatory or precautionary quarantine orders. The protections vary depending on the size of the employer:
- Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
- Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
- Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.
It also directs the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to implement a risk adjustment pool to help stabilize the DBL/PFL insurance carrier industry. Also, if federal COVID-19 benefits are approved, these state benefits would only apply if they would provide employee benefits in excess of what is available under federal law.
The budget negotiations are also still ongoing between the Governor, Senate and Assembly. The hope is to have something in place by the weekend, but the official budget deadline is April 1.
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