Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 Impacted New Yorkers

Dear Neighbor,

We are facing difficult and uncertain times. The COVID-19 virus has left New Yorkers fearful for ourselves and our loved ones, and anxious about our ability to make ends meet. As your Senator, I have been working with my colleagues in government to provide as much security and stability for working men and women during this crisis as we can. I believe that we must do everything in our power to help New Yorkers focus on keeping themselves and their families safe rather than stressing over their next paycheck.

That's why I voted this week for a new law that will:

  • Enact emergency paid sick leave for New Yorkers facing quarantine due to exposure to the coronavirus;
  • Waive the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance so workers whose employers close due to the pandemic can get the relief they need immediately;

Please continue reading for more information on these programs:

Coronavirus Quarantine Leave

Who is eligible for emergency paid quarantine leave?

Any employee in the state who is subject to 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 other authorized governmental entity will be eligible for some form of paid sick leave.

Employees who traveled to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 health notice countries, even after receiving a health notice, and are undiagnosed, asymptomatic and who can work from home are not eligible.

How do I find out if I am eligible, and how do I apply for paid quarantine leave if I am?

Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit
*Due to enormous volume, systems are slow. Please we ask you for your patience.*

Will employees have to use their accrued leave before receiving these benefits?

No. Sick leave for COVID-19 will not be charged against existing accrued sick leave.

Does this bill prevent retaliation against employees or failure to reintegrate them into the office at their current position after their leave? 

Yes. No employee may be discharged, threatened, penalized or discriminated against because of their leave of absence. Employees must be restored to the position they held prior to their leave. 

Immediate Access to Unemployment Insurance 

How will Coronavirus-related employer closures affect unemployment insurance?

If an employer closes due to a reason related to COVID-19 or receives a mandatory order from a government entity, there will be no waiting period for the employee to file a claim for unemployment insurance.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, I am urging everyone to stay safe and stay informed. For more information on steps you can take to protect yourself and your family, visit

I will continue to provide updates via email and through my social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


Gustavo Rivera
New York State Senator
33rd District