Everything You Need to Know About Sick Pay for COVID

The New York State Paid Sick Leave Act went into effect almost one and a half years ago. The progressive law provided paid sick leave for workers working for employers in New York State with five or more employees or $1M+ in annual revenue.

New York Workers started accruing paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked on September 30, 2020. Sick leave became available for use starting January 1, 2021. Workers who work for employers with 4 or fewer employees accrue unpaid sick leave at the same rate.

To request sick leave, submit your timesheet with the hours you normally work (up to your total hours of accrued and unused sick leave) and indicate on your timesheet that the hours are for sick leave.

If you are out of work due to COVID for longer than your accrued sick leave, you may still be eligible to receive pay for your lost hours through New York State Paid Family Leave. However, you must totally exhaust your accrued sick leave before applying for PFL. While Paid Sick Leave is paid directly by your employer, PFL is paid through your employer’s insurance carrier.

To apply for PFL, you must submit a Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL Form SCOVID19 (which may be found here) within 30 days of the start of your quarantine. You must include a copy of your order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine with your application.

To apply, complete sections 1-2 of the form, leaving questions 11 and 12 on Form PFL-1 black and instead complete Section 1 on the Form SCOVID19. Give the completed form to your employer. They must complete section 3 of the SCOVID19 form and Part B of Form PFL-1 within 3 business days. Once your employer has completed their parts, submit all forms and your order of quarantine/isolation to your employer’s PFL insurance carrier listed on Part B of Form PFL-1.

The insurance carrier must send you a determination within 18 days. You will have an opportunity to appeal if you disagree with their determination.

At the time of this article’s writing, the CDC has issued guidance that COVID-19 quarantine will only last five days. However, if you were out sick due to COVID and less than 30 days have passed since the beginning of your quarantine order which lasted for longer than five days, you may still qualify for back pay for lost hours. The process is the same if you are applying for PFL for an order of quarantine lasting only five days.

If you tested positive at home and need an order of quarantine from the New York State Department of Health, complete and submit this form to report your positive self-test result to the Tompkins County Health Department. Once the form is submitted, you will receive an automated email message with additional guidance and a note documenting that you have submitted a positive self-test result to the Tompkins County Health Department. Your end date for isolation is ten days after you took the test or from the onset of your symptoms, whichever occurred first. You will not receive further follow-up from TCHD. If you develop symptoms or symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare practitioner and seek additional care.

If you have any questions or need help with your PFL application, please reach out to Cecilia Faringer-Perez at cecilia.perez.ewf@gmail.com, or send us a message on our website.