On the heels of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law yesterday, New York State has enacted broad legislation extending paid sick leave benefits to employees.  The extent of paid sick leave is determined by employer size and revenue, and can be utilized by employees whether they are sick, or absent from work because of a “mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation” issued by “the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.”  All of New York City is currently subject to such an order.

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As people everywhere struggle to adjust to the rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the financial impact on businesses and employees has been a primary concern.  Employees are facing reduced work hours and layoffs as businesses scale back or close. At the same time, employees are dealing with the reality of a serious health threat to themselves and family members.  The scale of disruption to the normal functioning of businesses and to people’s lives is unprecedented.

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