In times like these when new legislation is constantly being released by both the Federal government and New York State, it may be difficult to understand what your requirements as an employer are. As we had summarized earlier, the Federal government signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which included two new emergency paid leave requirements in response to COVID-19: “The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” and “The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act”.

The instructions for sick leave are categorical, but there are multiple general guidelines to note, particularly from the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act:
– If an employee has an order of quarantine or isolation by a public official, as an employer you need to provide this employee with any of their available sick days.
– Even if there is not an order by a public official, if the employee has been advised to self-quarantine or isolation by their healthcare provider, as an employer you need to follow the same protocol.
– This entitles full time employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, and entitles part-time employees the number of hours they work on average over a two-week pay period at their regular rate.
– The rate is subject to a maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110.00 in the aggregate.

– For full time employees caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine or self-isolation, the rate of leave is equivalent to sick pay. For part time employees caring for an individual the amount is the number of hours they work on average over a two-week period at 2/3 their regular rate of pay.

An additional aspect from the FFCRRA that is often overlooked in the lengthy document is a notice requirement for employers. All employers with less than 500 employees must make sure they have already posted the Notice, issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (Available HERE), in a conspicuous place. As most workforces are currently operating remotely, the notice should be distributed to employees accordingly. In addition to posting the notice in a conspicuous place on premises, employers must satisfy the requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website. This notice needs only to be provided with current employees, not furloughed or laid off individuals. If a new job applicant is hired, this notice must be conveyed to them as well.