In early April, New York State enacted an emergency paid sick leave law that allows workers with a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation in relation to COVID-19 (or who need to care for a minor child with such an order) to take paid leave from work. Since its passage, the law has exempted workers who were subject to quarantine because they traveled to certain countries for non-work-related reasons from the law’s protections. And recently, the law was changed to exempt certain workers who travel within the United States.
The change comes via Executive Order No. 202.45, which Governor Cuomo signed on June 26, 2020. Specifically, the order provides that benefits under the emergency sick leave law will not be available to workers who, after June 25, 2020, travel for non-work reasons to a state with a high positive test rate for COVID-19 and which the commissioner of the department of health has designated as reaching certain specified test rates. This limitation will be in effect until July 26, 2020, and may be extended.
It is important to note that the exemption of workers who travel to certain states only applies to benefits under the New York State emergency sick leave law. It does not apply to sick leave under any other laws that provide paid leave, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the New York City Earned Sick Time Act, or the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law, or to sick leave under an employer’s own policy.
For more information regarding paid leave options that are available to New York State workers, please see our Know Your Rights Guide: COVID-19 Benefits & Paid Leave for New York Workers.