Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave for COVID-19

Section: COVID-19 Return to Work on Campus Series
Policy Number: 1102
Responsible Office: Human Resources
Effective Date: 7/30/20

Scope

Policy applicability corresponds with an employee’s eligibility for benefits that may include Paid Sick Leave, New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) and/or disability benefits. This policy shall be administered in conjunction with local sick leave ordinances (such as those in New York City) that meet or exceed the requirements of the State’s new quarantine leave law.

Policy

In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York State, workers are guaranteed job protection and financial compensation in the event they are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Financial compensation during such leave time may be provided from a combination of benefits including University-provided paid sick leave/quarantine leave, Paid Family Leave and/or disability benefits. Employees returning from a leave are protected from being discharged, penalized, or otherwise being retaliated against for taking this protected leave. This does not include situations in which the previous position no longer exists when the employee is able to return to work following quarantine or isolation.

The new leave law provides benefits in cases where an individual is under an order of quarantine – either mandatory or precautionary. Entities that may issue an “order” include the State of New York, New York State Department of Health, local Board of Health or any government entity authorized to issue such order. 

To request benefits for quarantine leave, contact the Employee Benefits Department at (718) 990-2363 and coordinate with your supervisor. See details below to determine the appropriate leave.

NY Paid Family Leave Expansion for COVID-19 – Employee’s Own Quarantine

If an employee is under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19, the University will provide up to 14 calendar days of paid sick time at the employee’s regular rate of pay under a quarantine leave. Such leave will not be deducted from any of the employee’s accrued leave balances. Employees should provide the Employee Benefits Department with proof of the order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, NYSDOH, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order. 

Employees under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 may be eligible to apply for Paid Family Leave and/or disability benefits, once they have exhausted the paid sick leave expansion, as listed above.  If an employee is not showing symptoms and is physically able to work through remote access or similar means, then the employee would not be eligible for the quarantine leave and instead should consult with the Employee Benefits department and supervisor for a telework arrangement. 

Employees will be required to complete Form PFL-1 (Request for Paid Family Leave) and Form SCOVID19 (Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL-Self. Medical clearance from a licensed medical professional is required to return to work. For more specific questions, please refer to New York PFL COVID-19 FAQs: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/new-york-paid-family-leave-covid-19-faqs

St. John's University Expanded Sick Leave

Situation and SymptomsExpanded Paid Sick LeavePerforming WorkDocumentation Required *

Employee has COVID-19 symptoms, unable to work and tests positive for COVID-19.

Will be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the 14-calendar day self-isolation period.Not applicableMedical clearance from a licensed medical practitioner

Employee has COVID-19 symptoms, unable to work and does not take a COVID-19 test.

Will be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the 14-calendar day self-isolation period.Not applicableMedical clearance from a licensed medical practitioner

Employee does not have COVID-19 symptoms but tests positive for COVID-19.

Will be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the 14-calendar day self-isolation period. Only applicable if telework cannot be performed.

If physically able, the employee would be granted a 14-day accommodation to telework during this time away from campus if the position duties can be performed remotely.

Medical clearance from a licensed medical practitioner

Employee was tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results.

Will be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the 14-calendar day self-isolation period. Only applicable if telework cannot be performed.

If physically able, the employee would be granted up to a 14-day accommodation to telework during this time away from campus if the position duties can be performed remotely.

Proof of date tested and negative test result

Employee is in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with a person who has COVID-19 and employee is symptomatic.

Will be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the 14-calendar day self-isolation period. 

Not applicable

Medical clearance from a licensed medical practitioner

Employee is in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with a person who has COVID-19 and employee is asymptomatic.

Will be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the 14-calendar day self-isolation period. Only applicable if telework cannot be performed.

If physically able, the employee would be granted a 14-day accommodation to telework during this time away from campus if the position can be performed remotely.

Not applicable

* All required documentation must be submitted to the Employee Benefits department

Under the St. John’s expanded sick leave, employees are eligible for paid quarantine leave as necessary, but individuals will be expected to collaborate closely with the Employee Benefits department regarding required documentation and to continue teleworking if physically able. Administrators will be charged their personal sick time allowance if they are out sick under the University Expanded Sick Leave. Staff will designate the time as “University expanded sick leave” directly on their time sheets 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.

Employees are expected to inform their supervisors about the need to quarantine.  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 any period of quarantine continues beyond 14 calendar days, 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.)

In 2020, PFL allows for up to 10 weeks paid leave at 60% of an employee’s average weekly wage (up to 60% 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. In 2020, PFL allows for up to 10 weeks paid leave at 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage (up to 60% of the New York State average weekly wage).

Requests for Leave Not Due to Order of Quarantine

Requests for COVID-19 related time off or leave outside of the reasons provided in this policy should follow any applicable University time off/leave policies and procedures. Employees who are asymptomatic and physically able to work remotely are not eligible for paid sick leave under the new quarantine leave law or under the University expansion of paid sick leave. They will be paid their regular rate of pay for the time they are able to telework.

Additionally, employees may request up to 40 hours of Safe and Sick leave, under the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, when schools or childcare providers are ordered closed for public health emergency. Refer to the University’s safe and sick leave policies for more information on requesting leave for this reason (link in Related Policies, below).

Employees who voluntarily traveled to a country under a Level 2 or 3 travel warning from the CDC or to a State with a high rate of COVID cases listed on the NY State’s travel advisory list may not be eligible for leave benefits under the law or under the University expansion of paid sick leave if employees were notified of the travel warning and the exclusion before such travel.

Related Policies and Information

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