COVID-19 Notice

The ripple effect caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic and the impact it has had on us and our way of life is, in a word, unprecedented.  Yet, as we have been for almost 90 years, Hage & Hage LLC (“H&H”) is open and working hard to ensure that you are not blindsided by the constantly-changing legal and business landscapes during the Pandemic.  Below see a brief breakdown of some important sections of latest legislation from both The White House and New York State:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Enacted Date: 18 March 2020|Effective Date: 2 April 2020|Expiration Date: 31 December 2020

The recently enacted federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which is one of two parts of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) requires private employers that employ fewer than five hundred (500) employees and public employers to provide an additional eighty (80) hours of emergency paid sick leave (“E-PSL”) to full-time and part-time employees who are unable to work or telework for certain reasons related to the coronavirus (“CV19”) outbreak.

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

The Act permits full-time employees to use E-PSL. E-PSL is available to employees who are unable to work or telework for the following reasons and at the applicable pay rates noted. The Act allows a full-time employee to take up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, when:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to CV19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of CV19 concerns.
  3. The employee chooses to obtain a medical diagnosis because the employee is experiencing symptoms of CV19.

Pay is at the greater of the employee’s regular rate or applicable minimum wage, but capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate.

The Act allows a full-time employee to take up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, when:

  1. The employee is caring for or assisting an individual who is subject to an order or recommendation as described in 1 or 3 above.
  2. The employee is caring for the employee’s child because of school or daycare closure, or because the child care provider is unavailable, due to CV19.
  3. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by Human Health Services.

Pay is at two-thirds of the greater of the employee’s regular rate or applicable minimum wage, but capped at $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

The Act allows a part-time employee to take up to the number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a two-week period, of paid sick leave, paid at the employee’s regular rate, when:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to CV19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of CV19 concerns.
  3. The employee chooses to obtain a medical diagnosis because the employee is experiencing symptoms of CV19.

The Act allows a part-time employee to take up to the number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a two-week period, of paid sick leave, paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate, when:

  1. The employee is caring for or assisting an individual who is subject to an order or recommendation as described in 1 or 3 above.
  2. The employee is caring for the employee’s child because of school or daycare closure, or because the child care provider is unavailable, due to CV19.
  3. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by Human Health Services.

Part-time employees or those who work irregular schedules, must be paid based on the average number of hours they worked in the six (6) months prior to taking the emergency sick leave.

Employees who have worked for less than six (6) months must be paid based on the employee’s reasonable expectation at hiring of the average number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work.

An employer may not change its current paid leave policy after enactment, to avoid the obligations of the additional leave mandated by the Act.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (“E-FMLA”), which is the second part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and expands the current federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

E-FMLA compels employers with fewer than five hundred (500) employees to provide paid family leave to employees with up to 30 days or more of tenure, who are unable to work or telework due to childcare needs triggered by COVID-19.

E-FMLA allows an employee, who is unable to telework, to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for the employee’s child (under the age of 18), if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the child-care provider is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

E-FMLA applies to employees who have been employed for at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to taking the E-FMLA.

The first ten (10) days of E-FMLA can be unpaid, although employees may elect to use other paid benefits (accrued vacation/PTO, accrued sick leave, etc.) to cover that time.

New York State Covid-19 Leave Law

BACKGROUND

The NY COVID-19 Leave Law (“NYLL”), signed into law on March 18, 2020 by Governor Cuomo, provides emergency paid sick leave and job protection to certain New York-based employees who have been impacted by CV19.  Please note that as of 2 April 2020, The Act will replace the NYLL.

Quarantine and isolation leave required by the NYLL goes into effect immediately.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

NYLL provides sick leave and other benefits to employee’s subject to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation issued by New York State, the department of health, local board of health or any other governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order due to CV19.

NYLL’s requirements vary based on the employer’s number of employees as of January 1, 2020 and, in some cases, net income.

Quarantine and isolation leave are required as follows:

  • Large Employers and Public Employers (100 or more employees as of Jan. 1, 2020)— paid sick leave up to a total of fourteen (14) days, plus full job protection.
  • Medium Sized Employer (11-99 employees as of Jan 1, 2020)— paid sick leave for five (5) days and unpaid sick leave until the termination of any order of quarantine or isolation, plus full job protection.
  • Small Employers (10 or fewer employees as of Jan. 1, 2020, and net income of more than $1 million in the previous tax year)— paid sick leave for at least 5 days paid and unpaid sick leave until the termination of any quarantine or isolation, plus full job protection.
  • Small Employers (10 or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million or less) – unpaid leave until the termination of any order of quarantine or isolation, the ability to qualify for paid family leave and temporary disability benefits, plus full job protection.

NYLL will offset the difference of any benefits offered by the federal government, but in addition to any accrued sick leave provided by an employer’s policies, if any.

H&H advises relentless vigilance and due diligence because the legal landscape is constantly changing and businesses are constantly updating or changing their protocols so as to comply with the law, keep their business alive and to ensure the safety of their employees.

If you or your employer needs assistance, please call us at 315-797-9850 for a complete analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how it applies to you.

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