Assembly Passes Legislation Providing Sick Leave for All New Yorkers During the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 19, 2020

Yesterday both houses of the Legislature passed and the Governor signed legislation to immediately provide all New Yorkers with sick leave during the coronavirus pandemic. I cosponsored the bill, A.10153/S.8091, which was introduced by Assembly Member Catherine Nolan and Senator Jessica Ramos.

New Yorkers shouldn't have to choose between their livelihoods or their health. With thousands of COVID-19 cases in New York already, the law passed by the Assembly will help save lives by ensuring that workers who are sick stay home, and that they can recover without fear of losing their jobs.

In order to help protect New York's workers and to curb the spread of COVID-19, this legislation will make all private and public sector employees eligible for sick leave and wage replacement during a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

Employees who work for small sized employers, which includes employers with 10 or fewer employees and that have a net income of less than $1 million, would receive unpaid sick leave and immediately become eligible for Paid Family Leave and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) benefits.

Those working for medium sized employers, which includes employers with 10 or fewer employees that have a net income of greater than $1 million and employers with between 11 and 99 employees, would receive at least five days of paid sick leave, followed by eligibility for Paid Family Leave and TDI benefits.

Those working for employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employees, would receive a minimum of 14 days of paid sick leave.

The law will allow these employees to collect Paid Family Leave benefits, supplemented by increased TDI benefits to make their weekly wages whole, for those who earn up to a maximum of $150,000 annually. Additionally, it eliminates the waiting period for these benefits, as well as for unemployment insurance for claims related to the coronavirus.

The law also expands Paid Family Leave benefits to cover an employee or their dependent child if they are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to coronavirus.

The Governor also announced that the State is reaching out to qualified former doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to supplement personnel at hospitals treating COVID-19 cases. Health care professionals who wish to sign up can contact the NYS Department of Health at healthy.ny.gov/assistance.