Coronavirus Bill Introduced in Albany
By: Timothy Lynn
In New York, Senate Bill S8090 was introduced at the request of the Governor. It is expected to be adopted an signed by Governor Cuomo this week. The law would create sick leave relating to the Coronavirus pandemic and would implement permanent sick leave provisions affecting all employers.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Provisions:
Employers are split into four categories:
1. Employers with 10 or fewer employees and less than $1 million in net income would be required to provide unpaid sick leave during the entire duration of a government ordered quarantine or isolation for an employee.
2. Employers with 10 or fewer employees but with $1 million or more in net income (in the prior tax year) must provide 5 days of paid sick leave and unpaid leave until the quarantine or isolation is lifted.
3. Employers with between 11 and 99 employees must provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave and unpaid sick leave until the quarantine or isolation is lifted.
4. Employers with 100 or more employees must provide 14 days of paid sick leave and unpaid sick leave until the quarantine or isolation is lifted.
The paid sick leave is in addition to any other sick leave created by the law and the sick leave does not count against an employee’s fringe benefit sick time off.
Upon completion of the sick leave, the employee must be reinstated to the same position, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
Permanent Sick Leave Provisions:
Every employer will be required to provide sick leave. Employers are divided into four categories:
1. Employers with less than five employees must provide every employee with up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave in each calendar year.
2. Employers with less than five employees but net income of more than $1 million in the prior tax year must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.
3. Employers with between five and 99 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.
4. Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave.
The sick leave accrues at a rate of not less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. There is an option to accrue all of it at the beginning of the year, but once done it cannot be undone based upon the number of hours worked through the course of the year.
The law provides definitions of what constitutes a basis for sick leave and limitations on employers’ ability to gather information confirming the underlying qualification for sick leave.
The law provides that unused sick leave carries over to the following calendar year, but an employer with fewer than 100 employees cannot be required to pay for more than 40 hours in a calendar year not can employers with more than 100 employees be required to pay for more than 56 hours in any calendar year. Upon termination of employment, the law does not require payment to an employee for any unused sick leave under the law.