Cuomo: NY employees who travel to COVID hot spots ineligible for paid sick leave

Posted at 12:48 PM, Jun 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-28 13:48:48-04

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new executive order has been issued, any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a COVID-19 "high-risk state" after June 25 will be ineligible for paid sick leave from New York's COVID-19 paid sick leave law.

Wednesday Cuomo was joined by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to announce anyone who enters NY, NJ or CT from a state with a high COVID-19 infection ratewill be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

The governor's office says this new executive order is consistent with that mandated quarantine.

"Employees will forgo their paid sick leave benefits from New York's COVID-19 paid sick leave law if they engage in non-essential travel to any state that has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average," a release from the governor's office states.

The following states meet the criteria for required quarantine as of June 27: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

If the employee travels for work or at the employer's request, the provision does not apply.

The state says this new executive order mirrors the law's existing provision that makes New Yorkers ineligible for paid sick leave if they travel to any country designated as having a level two or three travel health notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The announcement from the governor's office comes after officials say someone who recently traveled to Florida attended a graduation ceremony in Westchester County and began showing symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor's office says four others who attended the ceremony and also had contact with the first positive case have tested positive for COVID-19 as well.

"New Yorkers have controlled the spread of this unprecedented virus by being smart and disciplined, and our progress to date is illustrated by the current low numbers of new cases and hospitalizations," Governor Cuomo said. "But as we are seeing in other states who reopened quickly, the pandemic is far from over and we need stay vigilant. We're prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County. If we are going to maintain the progress we've seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility — that's why I'm issuing an executive order that says any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for the COVID protections we created under paid sick leave."

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