March 27, 2024
I know that during Cuomo's term he put in place a rule that for employees testing positive for COVID and quarantining for 5 days, the employer could not charge those 5 days to his/her sick time. I believe I very recently heard that mandate was going to be done away with but can't find anything on line to that effect. Can you confirm this is true and, if so, when the effective date is?

Dr. N

Great question. I've asked 
Kieran Bastible of our Employment / Litigation Department to assist. 

(From Kieran )

In September, 2022, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued updated COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance, pursuant to which the NYSDOH  then followed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on quarantine and isolation (i.e. isolation for at least five days after developing symptoms of COVID-19, or after a positive test if asymptomatic, and thereafter, a symptom-based approach).  On March 1st, the CDC dropped the standard minimum of five days of isolation in favor of a complete symptom-based approach (isolation can be ceased where, over a period of 24 hours,  overall symptoms have been improving and an individual has been fever-free without using fever-reducing medications).

While I expect the NYSDOH to also issue updated guidance to again piggy-back on the CDC’s latest guidance, it has not yet done so.  This leaves the existing New York Covid Leave Law (which has not yet been repealed or “sunset”) in stark contrast to the CDC’s latest guidance.  A NYS Senate bill to sundown the law is stuck in committee.  You should also be aware that the way the leave law currently reads, in no event shall an employee qualify for sick leave under New York’s COVID-19 sick leave law for more than three orders of quarantine or isolation. The second and third orders must be based on a positive COVID-19 test and the employee must submit documentation from a licensed medical provider or testing facility attesting that the employee has tested positive for COVID-19.  

Bottom line - great question and no word on when NYS will move on its position that Covid has it's own defined protected leave for employees.  We'll keep following and keep you posted if we hear of any movement.

NYS Resource -

Kieran X. Bastible, Esq.
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C.
200 Garden City Plaza, Suite 315
Garden City, New York 11530
(t) 516-747-6700 x315