By now you have heard that New York State instituted a 14-day quarantine for those people traveling in from COVID-affected areas (currently, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, Texas — but subject to change based on the number of COVID cases in other states). This quarantine will include NY residents who travel to one of those areas (for example, on a vacation) and then return to NY.

So, what if you have an employee who decides to take a trip to one of those states? Well, that employee cannot come back to work for 14 days after his/her return to NY. But do you have to pay that person? And what leave can or must the employee use?

Governor Cuomo made clear that NY’s COVID-related Paid Sick Leave will not be available for those employees who voluntarily travel to an affected area and then need to quarantine on their return.

The trickier questions arise with respect to the FFCRA — the federal legislation providing paid leave for COVID-related conditions. Under some circumstances, employees may still be entitled to paid leave under FFCRA. In addition, you will want to comply with your policies (and collective bargaining agreements, if you have any) for the process by which you require employees to use paid/unpaid leave.

Because this is a new frontier in employee leave, we strongly encourage our clients to work with The Coppola Firm in crafting a policy and process for fairly and compliantly drafting and implementing COVID leave policies. Call or email with any questions. 716-839-9700 or