The workplace has changed a lot over the last few years, but there’s one adapted change employers made that, so far, looks like it’s going to stick around. 

In the early days of COVID-19, many people were concerned with how contagious the illness is. That’s why medical professionals advised the use of a face mask until a vaccine could be made accessible to the public. 

But regardless of where you fall on the vaccine debate, you have to agree that COVID-19 has seriously affected those who are immunocompromised. 

That’s why many New York state employers advised caution when an employee contracted the virus, with many employers giving ample amounts of time to quarantine or isolate until that particular employee was no longer contagious. 

And it never had to come out of an employee’s paid time off or vacation time. 

And now, with COVID-19 rates going up again, you may be wondering if those cautionary measures are still used as they once were years ago. Or are you expected to use a PTO day if you catch COVID-19?

COVID-19 Rates On The Rise In Western New York

Over 65,000 people have been infected with COVID in the month of September in New York State, according to the New York State website, with the CDC recommending that anyone over the age of 5 years old get a COVID-19 shot. 

The data was updated as of Sept. 22, and it represents both new and re-infection cases, which is a little different than previous data. 

As of September 1, 2023, positive results on this page represent all positive tests reported to New York State, including both first infections and reinfections. Before this date, reinfections were reported on a separate dashboard. The reinfections dashboard has been archived and is available here", according to the New York State website!”

You can read more about the infection rate here.   

New York State Rules For Employers

Back in January 2020, it was included in the New York State Paid Family Leave that large businesses with 100 or more employees must provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and at least 14 days of paid COVID-19 sick leave for use during a period of isolation. 

And now through Winter 2023, New York State (NYS) Paid Sick Leave law requirements has the following requirements, according to

  • Paid sick leave is available to employees who have COVID-19 or to care for a dependent child with COVID-19 so they or their child can isolate. 
  • Paid sick leave requirements vary depending on the size of your business and other factors. 
  • Make sure employees who have COVID-19 are excluded from work.
  • People who have COVID-19 to isolate for at least fve days and to continue to wear a mask for at least 10 days. 
  • Have sick leave policies in place that enable employees to stay home when sick or to care for sick family members (in addition to NYS Paid Sick Leave law requirements). 
  • Allow employees who are recovering from COVID-19 or another illness but are well enough to work, or who must stay home to care for a sick family member, to work from home. 
  • Have flexible documentation requirements, such as allowing employees to provide a photo of at-home test results. 
  • Make sure employees know about these policies and how to claim benefits.  

For more information on the requirements of New York employers after contracting COVID-19, click here

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