New York Paid Family Leave COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

How to Apply

 

Do I have to apply for COVID-19 quarantine leave?

You do not have to apply for paid sick days if your employer is required to offer them. If you run out of sick days from your employer, then you would need to apply for combined Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine benefits for compensation during the rest of your quarantine.

 

How do I apply for the Paid Family Leave and disability benefits component of COVID-19 quarantine leave for myself?

To apply for Paid Family Leave and disability benefits during a quarantine, notify your employer and submit your completed request for Paid Family Leave forms to your employer’s insurance carrier no later than 30 days from your first day of leave to avoid losing any benefits.

You will need to complete the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine Leave for Yourself form package, which includes two forms:

  • Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL - Self (Form SCOVID19) 
  • Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1)

You will need to complete the employee sections on both forms in the package.

Then send these completed forms to your employer to complete the employer sections on both forms. Your employer has three business days to complete these sections and return the forms to you. If you do not receive the forms within three business days, you can proceed to the next step and submit your application.

Next, you will submit your completed forms together with your mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, department of health, local board of health, or government entity to your employer’s disability and Paid Family Leave insurance carrier.

The insurance carrier must pay or deny your claim within 18 calendar days of receiving your completed request.

 

How do I apply for Paid Family Leave COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits if I am unable to work because my minor dependent child is subject to a quarantine order?

You need to complete the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine Leave for Minor Dependent Child form package, which includes two forms:

  •  Request for COVID-19 Quarantine PFL - Child (Form CCOVID19) 
  •  Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1)

You will need to complete the employee sections on both forms in the package.

Then send these completed forms to your employer to complete the employer sections on both forms. Your employer has three business days to complete these sections and return the forms to you. If you do not receive the forms within three business days, you can proceed to the next step and submit your application.

Next, you will submit your completed forms together with your mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, department of health, local board of health, or government entity to your employer’s disability and Paid Family Leave insurance carrier.

The insurance carrier must pay or deny your claim within 18 calendar days of receiving your completed request.

 

Where do I get an application for the Paid Family Leave benefits component of COVID-19 quarantine Leave?

All forms are located at PaidFamilyLeave.ny.gov/COVID19. You may also be able to obtain them from your employer’s insurance carrier.

 

Where do I send my completed application for the Paid Family Leave and disability benefits component of COVID-19 quarantine leave?

Submit your completed request package to your employer's disability and Paid Family Leave insurance carrier within 30 days after the start of your leave. For information on who your employer’s carrier is, you should ask your employer or check part B of Form PFL-1 after your employer completes their section.

 

How long do I have to submit my application for Paid Family Leave and disability benefits COVID-19 quarantine leave?

You must submit your Paid Family Leave application within 30 days from the first day you are taking leave to avoid losing any benefits.

 

When will I get paid for the Paid Family Leave and disability benefits portion of my COVID-19 quarantine leave?

Your employer’s insurance carrier must pay or deny benefits within 18 calendar days of receiving your completed request for benefits. To ensure timely payment, make sure you completely fill out the required forms and attach the order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine.

 

My employer is refusing to complete their section on the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine form. What do I do?

If it has been more than three business days since you provided your employer with the completed Request for COVID-19 Quarantine Leave package, you may submit the forms you filled out, along with the mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation to your employer’s Paid Family Leave insurance carrier. The carrier may not deny your request solely because the employer’s sections are not completed.

 

As an employer, what part of the Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits application do I need to fill out?

As the employer your responsibility is to complete and return to the employee Part B of the Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1) and either section 3 of the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL or section 4 of the Request for COVID-19 Quarantine PFL - Child, depending on the leave the employee is requesting. These sections must be completed and returned to the employee within three business days.

Benefits

What benefits can I use for COVID-19 quarantine leave?

If you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, New York State Department of Health, local Board of Health, or other authorized government entity you may be eligible for job-protected COVID-19 sick leave and compensation through a combination of disability and Paid Family Leave COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits.

  • If you work for an employer with 10 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020 and your employer made less than $1 million in the previous tax year: Your employer is required to provide you with job protected leave and you may be eligible for a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits.
     
  • If you work for an employer with 10 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020 and your employer made more than $1 million in the previous tax year: Your employer is required to provide you with 5 days of paid COVID-19 sick leave. If you are still subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation after those days are used, you may be eligible for a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits.
     
  • If you work for an employer with between 11-99 employees as of January 1, 2020: Your employer is required to provide you with 5 days of paid COVID-19 sick leave. If you are still subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation after those days are used, you may be eligible for a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits.
     
  • If you work for an employer with 100 or more employees as of January 1, 2020: Your employer is required to provide you with 14 days of paid COVID-19 sick leave, which should cover the period of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or order of isolation.
     
  • If you work for a public employer: All public employers (for example, town, public school, public college or university, district, county, city, village, fire district and state), must provide at least 14 days of paid COVID-19 sick leave, regardless of how many employees they have.

 

What is the maximum pay I will receive for COVID-19 quarantine leave?

  • If you work for a public employer or an employer with more than 100 employees as of January 1, 2020, you are entitled to at least 14 days of paid COVID-19 sick leave at your regular rate of pay, but you are only eligible for COVID-19 sick leave pay while you are still subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation.
     
  • If you work for an employer with 11 or more employees or for an employer with fewer than 10 employees as of January 1, 2020, whose income was greater than $1 million dollars in the previous tax year, you are entitled to at least 5 sick days at your regular rate of pay. If you are still subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation after those days are used, you may be eligible to receive your weekly wages through a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits up to a maximum of $2,884.62 per week.
     
  • If you work for an employer with fewer than 10 employees as of January 1, 2020, whose income was $1 million dollars or less in the previous tax year, then you may be eligible to receive your weekly wages through a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits up to a maximum of $2,884.62 per week.

 

Is the employee count based on the number of employees located only within New York State?

No. The employee count is based off the number of employees employed anywhere in the United States as of January 1, 2020.

 

At what rate of pay does leave need to be paid?

For the applicable paid leave period (up to 5 or 14 days when subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation), employers must pay the amount that the worker would have otherwise received had they been continuing to work for that period based upon the amount that the employee was scheduled or would have been scheduled had the employer’s operations continued in its normal due course. The definition of “wages” in Article 6 of the Labor Law applies to the amount the employee must be paid. Employees who work a fixed schedule or are paid a salary should simply continue to receive pay for the applicable period. For hourly, part-time, commission-based salespeople, and other employees who are not paid a fixed wage, employers should determine the employee’s pay by looking at a representative period of time to set the employee’s average daily pay rate.

 

How many days of leave are part-time employees required to be paid for?

Part-time employees should be paid for the number of days or work shifts during the period of quarantine that they would have otherwise been paid for, up to 5 or 14 days of paid time, depending on the size and income of the employer.

 

Is the number of paid days work or calendar days?

The number of paid days are calendar days, and the pay required should represent the amount of money that the employee would have otherwise received during the period of quarantine, up to 5 or 14 days of paid time, depending on the size and income of the employer.

 

When is payment required to be made to employees eligible to receive paid COVID-19 sick leave?

The paid COVID-19 sick leave payments are subject to the frequency of pay requirements of Section 191 of the Labor Law, and leave payments should be made in the paycheck for the applicable pay period for the leave.

 

Will I have to repay the benefits I receive during COVID-19 quarantine leave?

No, you are not required to repay any benefits.

 

Is there a waiting period before I will receive combined Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits?

No, there is no waiting period for benefits claimed as a result of a mandatory or precautionary quarantine or order of isolation.

 

Can my employer require me to use my existing sick leave accruals or other accruals (paid time off) before my COVID-19 quarantine leave?

No. Employers required to provide paid COVID-19 sick leave must provide that leave separate from any accruals.

 

Is my job protected during COVID-19 quarantine leave?

Yes. Your employer cannot fire you or take action against you because you took leave, and you are entitled to be restored to the position you held prior to taking leave. Any COVID-19 quarantine leave should not be counted as an absence that may lead to or result in discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, or any other adverse action.

If you feel you have been retaliated against due to your use of COVID-19 sick leave you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor at: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Department-of-Labor-COVID-19-Complaint

 

I am eligible to take COVID-19 quarantine leave for myself and COVID-19 quarantine leave for my minor dependent child. Which benefits should I apply for?

More benefits are available to you if take COVID-19 quarantine leave for yourself. You may have paid COVID-19 sick leave benefits available to you, depending on the size of your employer. After using those paid COVID-19 sick leave benefits, you may then be eligible for a combination of Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits through your employer’s insurance carrier. You should complete the form package Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL - Self (Forms PFL-1  & SCOVID19) to apply for the combined Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits.

 

In January 2022, the Department of Health released updated guidance allowing individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 to end their quarantine after 5 days if they are asymptomatic and subsequently test negative, or if it is not possible to get a test and they have had no COVID-19 symptoms. How does this affect NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits?

NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits are only available during the order of quarantine or isolation. Once an individual is no longer subject to an order of quarantine or isolation, they are no longer eligible for NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits. See the Department of Health’s webpage New York State’s Approach to Isolation and Quarantine for the latest guidance.

Eligibility

What if I independently decide to quarantine - can I take COVID-19 quarantine leave?

This new law provides benefits in cases where an individual is under an order of quarantine – either mandatory or precautionary. Entities that may issue an “order” include the State of New York, New York State Department of Health, local Board of Health or any government entity authorized to issue such order.
 

My child’s school is closed due to COVID-19. Can I take COVID-19 quarantine leave to stay home with them?

School closures are not a qualifying reason for NY’s COVID-19 quarantine leave, as these benefits are only available when you or your minor dependent child are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, department of health, local board of health, or government entity.

 

I have been quarantined due to COVID-19. Do I have combined Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits available?

If you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, department of health, local board of health, or government entity, you may be eligible to take combined Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits for yourself unless you are not showing symptoms and are physically able to work through remote access or similar means.  You must first use all available paid COVID-19 sick leave, then you can apply for the combined Paid Family Leave and disability benefits for the remainder of your quarantine.

 

I’m able to work from home but I’m under a mandatory or precautionary quarantine. Am I eligible for COVID-19 quarantine leave?

No, if you are not showing symptoms and are physically able to work through remote access or similar means, you are not eligible for COVID-19 quarantine leave.

 

Does my citizenship or immigration status affect my eligibility for Paid Family Leave COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits?

No, citizenship or immigration status is not a factor in eligibility.


What if my employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19?

You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance.  For more information or to apply online, visit the NYS Department of Labor website.

 

Am I eligible for COVID-19 quarantine leave if my employer mandates I remain out of work due to exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 but I am not under an order of quarantine or isolation?

If an employer mandates that an employee who is not otherwise subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation remain out of work due to exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19, regardless of whether the exposure was in the workplace, the employer must continue to pay the employee at the employee’s regular rate of pay until the employer permits the employee to return to work or the employee becomes subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation, at which time the employee shall receive COVID-19 quarantine leave as required by NY’s COVID-19 legislation, in accordance with the Department of Labor guidance, for the period of time the employee is subject to such mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation.

 

Is there a limit to the number of times that an employee is eligible for COVID-19 sick leave?

In no event shall an employee qualify for sick leave under New York’s COVID-19 sick leave law for more than three orders of quarantine or isolation. The second and third orders must be based on a positive COVID-19 test and the employee must submit documentation from a licensed medical provider or testing facility attesting that the employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee does not need to submit documentation of a positive result if the employee’s employer gave the employee the test for COVID-19 that showed the positive result.

 

Are health care workers exempt from COVID-19 quarantine leave?

No. Under New York’s COVID-19 quarantine leave law there is no exemption for health care workers. However, health care workers are subject to rules, regulations and guidance issued by the New York State Department of Health. For more information, see the Interim Advisory on Return-to-Work Protocols for Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in Healthcare Settings.

Disputes

It has been more than 18 days since my insurance carrier received my completed request for Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits and they still have not paid or denied it. What should I do?

If it has been more than 18 days since the insurance carrier received your completed request, you may file a request for arbitration based on the carrier’s untimely decision. Arbitration is handled by NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation). More information can be found on NAM’s website.

 

What if I received a denial?

If you received a denial of Paid Family Leave COVID-19 quarantine leave benefits, you may file a request for arbitration to have your claim reviewed by a neutral arbitrator. Arbitration is handled by NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation). More information can be found on NAM’s website.

Complaints

My employer isn’t giving me the required number of COVID-19 sick leave days for COVID-19 quarantine leave. What do I do?

If your employer is not providing you with the required number of COVID-19 sick leave days for COVID-19 quarantine leave, you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor at: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Department-of-Labor-COVID-19-Complaint

 

My employer isn’t paying me my full wages for the COVID-19 sick leave days I’m taking during my COVID-19 quarantine leave. What do I do?

If your employer is not properly paying you for your COVID-19 sick leave days for COVID-19 quarantine leave, you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor at: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Department-of-Labor-COVID-19-Complaint

Obtaining a Quarantine Order

What proof do I need to submit with my Paid Family Leave and disability COVID-19 quarantine leave claim?

You must submit an order from your local health department indicating you or your minor child is under a precautionary or mandatory order of quarantine or isolation. 

 

Where do I get the order of quarantine or isolation?

The New York State Department of Health is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19 guidance, which provides information to those who tested positive. Currently, only orders of isolation are available.

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, regardless of vaccination status:

  1. Isolate for at least 5 complete days in accordance with the CDC guidance.
  2. Obtain an affirmation of isolation.

 

How are COVID-19 quarantine leave claims verified?

Paid Family Leave insurance carriers may reach out to employees to verify any information they have submitted as part of their quarantine leave claim.

 

When should I complete an affirmation of isolation?

Complete an affirmation of isolation if you or your minor dependent child has tested positive for COVID-19 and have been in isolation.