New York’s Response to COVID-19
On March 16, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order directing all schools in New York to close by Wednesday, March 18 for two weeks ending April 1, 2020. Additionally, the state mandated all of the following:
- No gatherings of 50 people or more in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey
- Casinos, gyms, theaters will be closed as of 8:00 pm on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice
- Bars and restaurants will be closed as of 8:00 pm on Monday, March 16, 2020 but takeout can be ordered during the period of closure.
- Strongly advise only services and businesses that are essential (such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and medical facilities) stay open after 8:00 pm.
- Nonessential state workers will work from home.
- All local governments must reduce their workforce by at least 50 percent.
- New York State will waive all park fees in state, local and county parks.
Read more on the New York State Department of Health website.
Additionally, the New York Attorney General provides the following information regarding employment:
- Workers in New York City of an employer with five or more employees, earn five days of paid leave that they can use for a health condition or to care for a family member with a health condition. If the employer has less than five employees, then employees earn five days of unpaid leave.
- Workers in Westchester of an employer with five or more employees, earn 40 hours of paid leave that they can use for a health condition or to care for a family member who has a health condition. If the employer has less than five employees, then employees earn five days of unpaid leave.
- Workers in New York State have up to 10 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition; however, this leave may not be used for an employee’s own health condition.
- The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if you have a serious health condition or are caring for a family member with a serious health condition. You must have worked for your employer for a year and your employer must have 50 or more employees.
- Workers who are sick may also be able to request unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under laws that prohibit disability discrimination. For more information, please visit the NYS Division of Human Rights or the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
- NYS Whistleblower Law for Health Care Providers prohibits retaliation against an employee of an employer which provides health care services and who discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or public body an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care; or who objects to, or refuses to participate in any activity, policy, or practice of the employer that the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care.
- Unemployment Insurance is potentially available to workers who are fired for taking time off from work due to illness and they may apply for unemployment insurance once they are able to work. Unemployment insurance may also be available for workers who are fired as a result of reduction in business.
- Short term disability insurance is potentially available to workers who take time off due to illness.