COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

Section: COVID-19 Return to Work on Campus Series
Policy Number: 1102
Responsible Office: Human Resources
Effective Date: 7/30/20
Revised: 9/28/21; 11/2/21; 1/13/22

Background

This policy is based on legislation New York State enacted on March 18, 2020 authorizing sick leave for employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19, and follows guidance issued by the New York State Department of Labor on January 20, 2021. Further, this policy complies with an amendment to the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, effective November 2, 2021, authorizing paid leave time for employees for child COVID-19 vaccinations.

For the COVID-19 vaccination leave policy for an employee’s own vaccine injections, see policy #1103.

Policy

I. An employee is entitled to COVID-19 paid sick leave under the circumstances described below:

A. An Authorized Governmental Entity Issues a Mandatory or Precautionary Order of Quarantine or Isolation That Applies to an Employee

  • The employee is entitled to up to 14 days of paid sick leave.

B. An Employee Who Tests Positive for COVID-19 Following a Period of Mandatory Quarantine or Isolation

  • The employee must not report to work.
  • The employee is deemed to be subject to a mandatory order of isolation from the New York State Department of Health, and shall be entitled to up to an additional 14 days of paid sick leave.
  • The employee must submit documentation from a licensed medical provider or testing facility attesting that the employee has received a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 after completing the initial period of isolation.
  • All documentation must be submitted to the Employee Benefits Department.

C. An Employee is Mandated by Human Resources to Remain Out of Work Due to Exposure or Potential Exposure to Covid-19, Regardless of Whether Such Exposure or Potential Exposure Was in the Workplace 

  • The employee is entitled to pay at the employee’s regular rate until such time as Human Resources permits the employee to return to work or the employee becomes subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation, at which time the employee shall receive paid sick leave for the period of time the employee is subject to such mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation.
  • In no event shall an employee qualify for sick leave under the New York COVID-19 Sick Leave Law for more than three orders of quarantine or isolation.

II. Additional Provisions

Time Recording: Staff will designate the time as “COVID-19 sick leave” directly on their time sheet, and the time will not be deducted from their personal sick time accrual.

Supervisors must inform Payroll by email if an employee falls into one of the categories above. Supervisors are also expected to maintain detailed records for each employee absence.

Notification: An employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has any Symptoms of Coronavirus, should stay home, self-quarantine, complete the COVID-19 Notification Form and inform their supervisor. The HR contact tracing team will reach out with further instructions.

Please note that medical information, including information about symptoms and testing, should be shared directly with the Employee Benefits department and is not required to be shared with supervisors.

If an employee becomes ineligible to continued paid sick leave under this policy due to circumstances such as the exhaustion of three orders of quarantine or isolation, the employee should consult with the Employee Benefits department to determine what other type of leave option (e.g. short-term disability leave, NY PFL, unpaid leave, etc.) is appropriate.

Paid Family Leave (PFL) – for the Quarantine of a Minor Dependent Child

An employee who has a minor dependent child under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19, and who is covered under Paid Family Leave, is eligible to take PFL provided the minimum requirements have been met. (For employee eligibility and the time off/compensation schedule, refer to policy 509 New York Paid Family Leave.)

The amount of PFL allowed in 2022 is up to 12 weeks paid leave at 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage (up to 67% of New York State average weekly wage.

Paid Family Leave (PFL) - for Family Care

An employee who has an eligible family member who contracts COVID-19 may be able to take Family Care to care for that family member. COVID-19 is considered a serious health condition, and employees can take PFL to care for a family member with a serious health condition, including family members outside of New York State.

For employee eligibility and the time off/compensation schedule, please refer to policy 509: New York Paid Family Leave. The amount of PFL allowed in 2022 is up to 12 weeks paid leave at 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage (up to 67% of New York State average weekly wage.

III. Paid Leave related to child COVID-19 vaccination

Effective November 2, 2021 employees can receive up to four hours of paid leave to a) accompany their child to a COVID-19 vaccine injection and/or b) care for their child who is experiencing temporary side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine injection. Child vaccination leave time is in addition to existing safe and sick leave time. An employee is entitled to four hours of paid leave per injection, per child, including boosters. This leave is in addition to, and separate from, an employees’ own COVID-19 vaccination leave time of four hours per injection, as addressed in policy #1103.

The law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against any employee who takes or requests paid COVID-19 child vaccination time, or otherwise exercises their rights under the law.

Notice: Employees are required to provide their supervisor with reasonable notice of the foreseeable need to use COVID-19 child vaccination leave.

Time Recording: Staff will designate the time taken on the time sheet as “COVID-19 child vaccination leave” and the time will not be deducted from personal sick time accrual.

Requests for Leave Not Covered by this Policy

Employees will be granted up to two days of additional sick leave immediately following each dose if they have side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination that prevent them from working. This time will not be deducted from personal sick time accrual. Requests for additional time off, or for leave for reasons that fall outside this Policy, should follow applicable University time off/leave policies.

Related Policies and Information

 St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual