Professional Service Agreement

New York Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Use of COVID-19 Sick Leave

February 03, 2021

The New York State Department of Labor has issued guidance which states that if an employer requires an employee to stay home for fear that the employee has been exposed to COVID-19, the employer MUST pay the employee for the days out until the employee can return to work or obtains an order of quarantine. During this limbo period, the employee would not be charged with use of employer-provided PTO or sick days, or use of NY paid COVID-19 sick pay. The guidance also states that where an employee returns to work after having been quarantined pursuant to an order, and tests positive a second or third time, the employer must pay the employee the New York COVID-19 sick pay, so long as the employee provides a doctor’s certification of a positive test, even without an additional order. The same is true if an employee out of work on quarantine tests positive after having served the mandatory quarantine period. However, the guidance makes clear that an employer need not require an employee who has been quarantined to take a COVID-19 test at the end of the quarantine period prior to returning to work.