Human Resources


HR consultations for Covid-19 employment issues

We were able to help over 50 members with one-on-one HR consultations

Debra J.M Best, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
  was under retainer with NYSVMS to provide Human Resources Consulting Services to members.

Ms. Best is willing to answer your questions in return for a fee for her services. She can cover most questions in 15-30 minutes as she has now talked to so many members and understands the issues you are facing.

To schedule a paid consultation, text message to (518) 527-9261 or email

Paid Sick Leave Laws - State and Federal

This NY Government site has a great explanation, and can guide your employees through making their claim for COVID-19 related family leave and workers compensation.
This button goes to an article by our legal team that explains how the new State and Federal regulations relate to one another
This button goes to a page we built early on in the crisis to explain the new NYS laws with tables that could be helpful

CARES act flowchart from Department of Labor

Before letting your employees go, or furloughing them, make sure you have reviewed the forgivable loans available from the Small Business Administration that will cover your payroll costs  if you retain your employees.Department of labor flowchart

View online

New NY Paid-leave law

NOTE: A new Federal Law also comes into effect in early April. See this article to see how they relate

The new NY paid-leave law can be thought of as two laws combined into one:

Section 1 - Effective as soon as the bill is signed into law - Paid leave due to Covid-19

The overall intent of section 1 of the new law is to both protect jobs and provide paid sick leave to workers who are quarantined. The new law makes use of some existing frameworks like Paid Family Leave and Workers' Compensation in order to pay for the sick leave. The employer's responsibility will be to pay into the existing Paid Family Leave and Workers' Compensation insurance funds to cover the costs.

It covers absences from work that are due to a "mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State of New York, The Department of Health, a Local Board of Health, or any government entity duly authorized to issues such order" (Workers' compensation - disability), OR to provide care for a minor dependent child of the employee who has been ordered into quarantine (Paid Family Leave).

It does not apply to an employee who has not yet been diagnosed and is able to work remotely.

If the Federal Government subsequently provides sick leave or employee benefits, then NY State will only pay benefits above the federal entitlement.

Paid Sick-leave related to Covid19

Employees as of Jan 1, 2020 Net income Paid sick leave* Unpaid sick leave Paid Family Leave Benefits - to care for family
Workers Compensation (Quarantine is classed as a disability eligible for workers comp)
Ten or fewer Under $1 millon For the duration of the quarantine order Eligible Eligible for disability
Ten or fewer Over $1 million 5 days For the duration of the order After 5 days After 5 days
Eleven to Ninety-nine All 5 days For the duration of the order After 5 days After 5 days
One hundred and over All 14 days For the duration of the order After 14 days After 14 days
Public employers All 14 days For the duration of the order After 14 days After 14 days

Note 1: Any paid sick leave should not be deducted from the sick leave accrued by the employee when they return to work. Their return to work is guaranteed - they must be taken back in an equivalent position with equivalent pay.

Note 2: These benefits do not apply if the employee traveled to a country for the CDC had issued warnings about, unless it was for work.

Section 2 - Effective in 180 days - Paid sick leave for all employees

The second and third section of the new law were brought forward from the budget proposal, but do not go into effect for 180 days. The law establishes minimum amounts of sick leave for each employee, depending on the size of the company. The costs of this sick leave will fall to the employer.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES - this section is unrelated to Covid-19 isolation

Employees Net income Unpaid sick leave (minimum) Paid sick leave (minimum)
Four or fewer Under $1 millon 40 hours per year None
Four or fewer Over $1 million 40 hours per year
Five to Ninety-nine 40 hours per year
One hundred and more 56 hours per year

NOTE 1: The number of employees is based on the calendar year, however the accrual of sick leave is based on any 12 month period
NOTE 2:  Starting in January 2021 there are a set of definitions in the law for what is covered under sick leave
NOTE 3: The new law appears to permit existing PTO policies where the amount of leave already meets these requirements
NOTE 4: The employees position is protected - when they return they must be offered the same or equivalent position
NOTE 5: The payroll record keeping requirements are updated to require records of sick-leave provided

The State Law also would allow New York City to introduce more stringent local laws.