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  • Writer's pictureLaura Matlow Wong-Pan

Emergency Employment Laws in response to Covid-19

A series of emergency Federal and State employment-related laws and Executive Orders have been passed that deal with leave from work due to business closure, orders of quarantine or isolation, school closures, illness, and need to care for an ill family member.

From the Federal Government, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements, which includes the ability to qualify for up to 12 weeks of leave under the expanded Family and Medical Leave Act. The new provisions apply from April 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020. More detailed information is found here.

On March 26, 2020, the Department of Labor provided additional guidance regarding how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be implemented. As stated in that guidance, employees may be asked to provide documentation to substantiate the request for the absence, including a copy of the quarantine or isolation order, or written statement from a health care provider, or written notice of the closure of the school or child care facility where the employee's child attends. The Department will be issuing implementing regulations sometime in the near future. The guidance is found here.

New York State Paid Sick Leave is also now available to certain employees for illnesses related to the coronavirus, or when employees are under an order of quarantine or isolation, or the closure of a school or child care facility where the employee's minor child(ren) attends. Private employers with more than 100 employees and all public sector employers must provide 14 days paid sick leave. Employers with between 11-99 employees, or 10 or fewer employees plus 2019 net income over $1 million, must provide 5 days paid sick leave. For more information, click here.

Also, under New York State’s paid family leave law, employees may be able to access up to 10 weeks of partial wage replacement to care for a close family member with a serious health condition. Information about the paid family leave law is found here.

If you have any questions, contact Law Office of Laura Wong-Pan PLLC at 845-218-1288.

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