Update: NYSDOL New COVID-19 Leave Guidance

New York State’s Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) recently issued new Quarantine Leave guidance that affects all employers, regardless of size. Back in March 2020, New York State enacted legislation that forced employers to provide job-protected leave for any employees who become subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine/isolation due to COVID-19. That mandate subsequently was modified to clarify that employees who voluntarily travel to certain states or countries for non-business reasons are ineligible for this leave. The NYSDOL’s new guidance add to but keeps all prior guidance in effect.

What employers need to know:

#1. Employees that have already used COVID-19 leave as a result of a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine/isolation are now eligible for up to a maximum of three rounds of leave if the following conditions are met:

a.) the employee must receive a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result; and b.) the employee must provide their employer with documentation of the positive test result from a licensed medical provider or testing facility.

#2. Employees that continue to test positive after completing the 10-day quarantine/isolation period are now subject to a second 10-day quarantine/isolation period and the employer must provide an additional round of leave.  Once again, the following conditions must be met:

a.) the employee must receive a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result; and b.) the employee must provide their employer with documentation of the positive test result from a licensed medical provider or testing facility.

#3. Employees that are prohibited from reporting to work by their employer because of potential COVID-19 exposure, and not because of a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine/isolation, must be paid at his or her regular rate until:

a.) the employee is allowed to return to work; or b.) the employee qualifies or is subject to an order of quarantine/isolation. 

As with all COVID-19 related rules, regulations, and guidance, this guidance is subject to change at any time depending on the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.

If you have any questions on how this relates specifically to your business, Matt Miller, Jim O’Connor, or any member of the Rupp Baase Employment Law Team is available to help. Let’s Talk