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Cuomo signs bill to guarantee sick leave for New Yorkers during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted: 8:24 PM, Mar 18, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-18 20:26:39-04
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The New York State Assembly passed new legislation on Wednesday that will provide sick leave for all New York residents during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“No one should have to worry about losing their job should they come down with or are quarantined because of the coronavirus,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “The legislation we passed will help save lives by ensuring people that are sick stay home, and it will allow people to recover without having to worry about losing their livelihood. The Assembly Majority will continue working, both safely and relentlessly, to put New York families first during this health emergency and beyond.”

All private and public sector employees will be eligible for sick leave and wage replacement while they are quarantined, regardless of whether it's mandatory or precautionary.

The degree of paid leave depends on the size of the employer:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employees, would receive a minimum of 14 days of paid sick leave.

"The bill 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. It 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," a release from the state assembly says.

"No one should have to make the impossible choice between losing their job or providing for their family and going to work, especially during this pandemic," Cuomo said.