March 06, 2020
In addition to increased pressure for paid sick leave in Congress, state activity is expected to pick up, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) expands his paid sick leave budget proposal to protect the jobs and pay of quarantined workers.
Cuomo will amend his paid sick leave bill to include “a specific provision that says people, who because of this situation with coronavirus, have to be quarantined should be protected. Their employer should pay them for the period of quarantine and their job should be protected.”
As previously submitted, the governor's proposal would grant employees one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with large employers required to offer 7 days of sick leave per year. The leave mandate would apply regardless of whether a worker is a full-time or part-time employee. According to a spokesman for Cuomo's budget division, the legislation “does not require an employer to provide additional sick leave if the amount of leave provided already meets the requirements... or if a collective bargaining agreement expressly waives the requirements and comparable benefits are provided.”
Outlook: The push for paid sick leave is not just a federal government phenomenon. States will similarly be looking for ways to protect workers during the outbreak.