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New Yorkers who travel to states with high COVID-19 infection rates will lose paid sick leave benefits

New Yorkers who travel to states with high coronavirus infection rates will lose their COVID-19 sick leave benefits, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo signed an executive order on Friday saying that New York employees who voluntarily travel to a state with a positive test rate higher than 10% will no longer be eligible for benefits from New York's COVID-19 paid sick leave law. The order does not apply to people who are traveling for work.

"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," Cuomo said in a statement.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University last updated on June 28, nine states currently have positive test rates greater than 10%: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.

In March, Cuomo expanded paid sick leave benefits for New York employees who were quarantined as a result of the coronavirus or who had to care for a family member infected with COVID-19.

The new law said that employers with more than 100 employees had to provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the quarantine's duration. Employers with 11 to 99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income of more than $1 million had to provide at least five days of paid sick leave as well as job protection.

In addition to New Yorkers losing these COVID-19 paid sick leave benefits after visiting high-risk states, any travelers arriving from states where the virus is surging have been ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Earlier in the week, Cuomo, along with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, implemented a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from high-risk states based on the same 10% positivity rate threshold. Those who are found to have broken the self-quarantine can be fined more than $2,000, Cuomo said.

As Business Insider's Jake Lahut reported, governors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have touted their states' lower numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations after seeing the most severe outbreaks in the US.

New York is experiencing its lowest numbers of coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic in March. On Saturday, less than 1% of tests administered came back positive.

However, cases are rising in 36 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, CNN reported. Only two states — Connecticut and Rhode Island — are seeing their cases decline, while numbers for new cases remain steady in many other states, including New York. Some states, such as Texas, are pausing their reopenings or rolling back openings of bars and restaurants.

The US just reached an all-time high for daily new cases, with more than 40,000 new cases reported on Friday, per data from Johns Hopkins University. Total US cases now exceed 2.5 million.

On Friday, Cuomo said that New York was offering assistance to states with high COVID-19 infection rates like Texas, Florida, and Arizona.

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by Anonymousreply 11Last Monday at 2:19 PM

I’m sorry, I fail to see how this is legal or enforceable.

by Anonymousreply 1Last Monday at 6:05 AM

Good move Governor.

by Anonymousreply 2Last Monday at 6:18 AM

I assume this means STATE employees, not ALL New Yorkers, OP. So your headline is wrong.

by Anonymousreply 3Last Monday at 8:07 AM

Why should it be only stare employees. All NYC gets a special pandemic insurance benefit layout don't they

by Anonymousreply 4Last Monday at 8:11 AM

Go Cuomo!!!

by Anonymousreply 5Last Monday at 8:18 AM

“Voluntarily”? Do some people travel against their will, to Covid-ravaged states?

by Anonymousreply 6Last Monday at 10:48 AM

R6 - yes, people who go to high Covid states on business is NOT voluntary.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Monday at 10:50 AM

R6 Ask Florida and Nevada

by Anonymousreply 8Last Monday at 11:06 AM

R6 Ask Florida and Nevada

by Anonymousreply 9Last Monday at 11:06 AM

r4 Because why would the state have any control over whether or not a private employer decides to pay sick leave to someone?

by Anonymousreply 10Last Monday at 12:38 PM

R10 I am interpreting the law to speak to NY state employees?

"State" being the operative word - interpreting it as "State of New York" as the employer. Not any employer in the state of New York.

by Anonymousreply 11Last Monday at 2:19 PM
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