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As we previously reported, over the past year, New York State has adopted a statewide sick leave law, paid leave for COVID-19 vaccination, and paid quarantine leave.  Last week, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) issued guidance on the use of New York State Sick Leave (NYSSL) as it pertains

Well, that was fast! As we reported on Tuesday, the New York State legislature passed a sweeping bill in late April known as the HERO Act. The HERO Act represents a massive change to the Empire State’s workplace health and safety protocols.

At the time of our initial post, the HERO Act was awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature. That signature came late Wednesday. Notably, however, the Governor has asked the legislature to make certain technical changes to the law, including giving the New York State Department of Labor and employers more specific instructions in developing and implementing the workplace standards required by the HERO Act. In addition, Governor Cuomo has asked that lawmakers add a requirement for employers to cure violations in order to better protect the safety of workers and limit claims by employees for violations, in limited circumstances where employers are acting in bad faith and failing to cure deficiencies.

Continue Reading New York’s landmark HERO Act becomes law – With some caveats

In late April, New York State legislators passed a bill that can best be described as a “game changer.” Known as the Health and Essential Rights – or HERO – Act, the bill proposes a novel, sweeping overhaul of the Empire State’s workplace health and safety laws. Among other things, the HERO Act directs New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) to create minimum workplace safety standards, requires all New York business to adopt airborne infectious disease exposure plans, and authorizes the creation of joint labor-management workplace safety committees within every company.

The bill now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk, where it is expected to be signed in the near term. Below we will outline the key provisions of the HERO Act.
Continue Reading New York legislators pass sweeping new workplace health and safety bill

New York is doing away with its quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers.

By way of background, in June 2020, New York issued a COVID-19 Travel Advisory requiring certain travelers to quarantine upon entry to New York. In November 2020, New York modified its travel advisory to permit out-of-state travelers to test out of its mandatory quarantine. In a surprising move, however, on March 11, 2021, Governor Cuomo’s office issued a press release stating that domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine upon entry to New York from another state or U.S. territory.

Continue Reading New York eliminates quarantine for domestic travel effective April 1

On March 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill requiring that all public and private employers in New York State provide their workforces with up to four hours of paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

More particularly, the law requires that Empire State employers provide their employees with “a sufficient period

As we approach the one-year anniversary of COVID-19’s upheaval of “business as usual,” we continue to field inquiries from Empire State employers regarding their pandemic-related workplace obligations.  Given that many of the pandemic-related regulations remain fully in effect, we have summarized in this blog post the primary employer obligations that remain in-effect in New York:

As we previously reported, on March 18, 2020, New York State passed a law providing job protection and benefits to certain employees quarantined or isolated due to exposure to and/or infection with COVID-19. On January 20, the New York State Department of Labor issued supplemental guidance clarifying some important points for employers about complying

With two COVID-19 vaccines pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccination policies are a hot topic at the employment law water cooler these days.  While there is currently no concrete guidance on this issue at the federal, state, or city level, on December 4, New York State lawmakers introduced a bill that could have a substantial impact on such policies.

Specifically, State Assembly Bill A11179 would mandate the vaccination of all individuals or groups of individuals who, as shown by clinical data, are proven to be safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This mandate would only take effect, however, after a vaccine is approved and its promotion and distributions plans have commenced, and if public health officials determine that residents of the state are not developing sufficient immunity from COVID-19.  Notably, the Bill includes an exception to the vaccination requirement for “[a]ny individual who has received a medical exemption from a licensed medical professional.”
Continue Reading New bill would require virtually all New Yorkers to receive COVID-19 vaccination

As we previously reported, on June 24, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring that individuals returning to New York State from so-called restricted states – i.e., states that met certain COVID-19 transmission levels – quarantine for a period of 14 days upon return.  As we also reported, effective November 4, New York adopted new protocols and issued an updated travel advisory and Interim Guidance allowing out-of-state travelers to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Just six days later, however – on November 10 – the State updated these protocols yet again. This article will summarize the cumulative changes implemented by the November 4 and 10 updates.

Specifically, the updated protocols permit any traveler to New York from a noncontiguous state, a U.S. territory, or a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) level two or three country, to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine as follows:
Continue Reading New York updates its travel protocols for out-of-state travelers for the second time this month

As we previously reported, on June 24, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring that individuals returning to New York State from so-called restricted states – i.e., states that met certain COVID-19 transmission levels – quarantine for a period of 14 days upon return.  Effective November 4, however, New York has adopted new protocols and issued an updated travel advisory allowing out-of-state travelers to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Specifically, the updated protocols permit any traveler to New York from out of state – with the exception of neighboring states Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont – to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine as follows:

Continue Reading New York adopts new travel protocols for out-of-state travelers