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VIEWPOINT: COVID-19 Legal Check-Up: Where Are We Now?

By Adam R. Mastroleo and Lisa R. Feldman


With the onset of the COVID-19 XBB.1.5 variant, more employees are in need of time off from work this winter to recover from unfortunate illness. Below is a quick update for employers on the current state of COVID-19 paid-leave laws available to employees:

NYS COVID Paid Leave: Still in Effect. Enacted in March 2020, NY COVID paid leave is codified into law, with no expiration date. Accordingly, employees are still entitled to up to three paid leaves if subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of isolation or quarantine issued by the New York State Department of Health (or any governmental entity similarly authorized). Length of leave depends on the employer’s size and income and for second and third leaves, a positive test must be accompanied by documentation from a licensed medical provider or testing facility. Employees would be paid at their regular rate of pay and other available paid leave may not be charged against this leave. However, employees are well enough to work from home, they would not be eligible for this leave. Notably, New York paid COVID leave works in concert with CDC guidelines, as New York State adopted these (see our recent blog post at: Accordingly, someone who does not need to isolate under the latest CDC guidance is not entitled to this leave. More info is available in the state’s FAQ at:

NYS Paid Family Leave for a Minor Dependent Child due to COVID-19 Quarantine/Isolation: Still Available. The attestation form — available here:  — must be completed.

NYS COVID Vaccination Time: Still in Effect. Under NYS Labor Law § 196-c, employees are entitled to up to four hours of paid leave per COVID vaccination injection (unless entitled to more under a collective-bargaining agreement), boosters included. This leave was extended until Dec. 31, 2023.

NYS Paid Sick Leave for Recovery from Vaccine Side Effects: Still Available. Whether leave is paid or unpaid will depends on employer size and income. More information is available at:  

Adam R. Mastroleo is a member (partner) at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC in Syracuse. Contact him at Lisa R. Feldman is an associate in Bond’s New York City office. Contact her at This article is drawn and edited from the law firm’s website.