Governor Hochul proposes ending COVID-19 Sick Leave Law

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed getting rid of the state’s COVID-19 sick leave law in her proposed state budget.

The law went into effect in 2020. It requires employers to provide COVID sick leave for employees under mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine. It could end July 31st.

The Governor’s proposal says one of the reasons is because quarantine requirements have changed.

Her office released a statement saying, “New York State has one of the nation’s strongest paid sick leave policies, providing most employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave each year, and Governor Hochul’s FY25 executive budget includes additional expansions of medical and disability leave.”

The Business Council of New York supports the proposal.

“We understand the pandemic is still with us,” said Frank Kerbein, Director of the Center for Human Resources at the Business Council of New York State. “There’s still individuals who suffer from COVID. At the same time in 2020 the state passed a new mandatory paid sick leave that all employers have to provide 40 or 56 hours of pay time off for employees. This is enough. We feel this is enough now to help employees who are still impacted by COVID.”

The Governor’s proposal does have some opposition.

Wayne Spence, President of The New York State Public Employees federation, released a statement saying, “Why would New York sunset COVID sick leave when many of its workers are still subject to mask mandates at agencies in order to protect the citizens they serve, and when all the evidence – scientific and anecdotal – points to increased community spread of what is still a very dangerous virus for certain populations?”

The final state budget is due April 1st.

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