New York Enacts Mandatory Paid Sick Leave and Job Protection for Many Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation mandating that employers give their workers paid sick leave and job protection if they are “subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation…” The amount of sick leave to be given is dependent on the employer’s size. Employers with 100 or more employees must give affected employees 14 days of paid sick leave while employers with 11 to 99 employees or with 10 or fewer employees but more than $1 million in net yearly income must give employees 5 days of paid sick leave and then unpaid leave. Employers having less than 10 employees but a net income of less than $1 million aren’t required to offer paid leave but must allow employees to take unpaid leave for the duration of the quarantine order.

Importantly, employers may not require employees to exhaust any previously accrued paid sick leave before allowing them to take leave under the new law, nor may they retaliate or discriminate against them for exercising their right to take leave.

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