We previously issued a legal bulletin addressing Executive Order 205, which originally was silent on whether employees who traveled from “states with significant rates of COVID-19 transmission,” who are required to quarantine for a 14-day period, are entitled to paid sick leave under The New York State Paid Sick Leave Law (“PSLL”) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).
It was our position that such employees should be treated similarly as those who voluntarily traveled to a CDC specified country for personal reasons who already do not qualify for Paid Sick Leave under the PSLL. Our prior legal bulletin is found here: https://www.lawpf.com/post/executive-order-205-self-quarantine-requirement-and-its-impact-on-employers
Clarification on this subject has since been issued. On June 26, 2020, Governor Cuomo amended Executive Order 205 which now provides that employees are not eligible for paid sick leave for travel to high risk states.
The relevant language states, “in addition to any travel to a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a level two or three travel health notice, an employee shall not be eligible for paid sick leave benefits or any other paid benefits pursuant to this chapter if such employee voluntarily travels” to “a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate, over a seven day rolling average, and which the commissioner of the department of health has designated as meeting these conditions pursuant to Executive Order 205.” (Emphasis added). The travel must not be taken as part of the employee’s employment or at the direction of the employee’s employer.
The full language in the executive order can be found here:
We previously recommended employers create an “interim” travel policy to enable full disclosure of whether employees are traveling to the restricted states and to prohibit such travel if possible, for the health and welfare of fellow employees.
Our Firm has extensive experience counseling employers and businesses on employee and labor law issues, and preparing applicable employee policies, particularly relating to the evolving regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions related to this Legal Briefing or questions related to COVID-19 reopening rules and procedures, please contact any member of our Firm at 585-730-4773. Please note that any embedded links to other documents may expire in the future.
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