Client Alert 

January 4, 2023

Reminders for New York Employers Amid the COVID-19 Winter Surge

As 2023 has arrived and COVID-19 cases are back on the rise, we take this opportunity to remind New York employers of their continuing obligations regarding COVID-19 when it comes to their employees, and of previous requirements that are no longer in effect.


Paid “Quarantine Leave” Still Available


The New York COVID-19 Quarantine Leave law requiring employers to provide job-protected, paid time off to employees who cannot work due to COVID-19 infection remains in effect.


Accordingly, employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis and cannot work, including remotely, are still entitled to job protected, paid or partially paid leave (depending on the size of the employer). Please refer to our previous Client Alert for more information regarding Quarantine Leave entitlements.


However, employees are not required to quarantine merely because they were in close contact with someone with COVID-19, and therefore no paid (or unpaid) leave is available under those circumstances, unless the employee subsequently develops symptoms and/or tests positive.


You can access the rules currently in effect for isolation in the case of COVID-19 symptoms and/or a positive COVID-19 test here.


Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Vaccination Extended


The law granting paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose has been extended to December 31, 2023. Accordingly, employees may continue to take up to four (4) hours off from work, with pay, to get a COVID-19 vaccine dose (“Vaccine Leave”).


Vaccine Leave may not be charged against other available leaves, such as leave available under the New York State Sick Leave Law or the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“Paid Sick Time”).


Child Vaccination Leave No Longer in Effect


New York City employers are no longer required to provide employees with up to four (4) hours of paid time off in addition to regular Paid Sick Time in order to take their child to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 


However, employees may still use their regular Paid Sick Time to care for their child who is recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine or to attend their child’s medical appointments, including vaccine appointments.


Workplace Contact Tracing No Longer Required


New York City has removed its guidance regarding employer obligations if someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was present in the workplace during their infectious period. Accordingly, employers are no longer required to notify employees they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 at work. However, employers are free to continue doing so to prompt mask-wearing by exposed employees and in the interests of reducing the spread of COVID-19. Similarly, employers are no longer required to advise the City or the health department of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.


New York City’s updated Fall 2022 to Winter 2023 Guidance for Employers can be found here.

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If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact our Labor & Employment attorneys or the primary EGS attorney with whom you work.

This memorandum is published solely for the informational interest of friends and clients of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP and should in no way be relied upon or construed as legal advice.