Leave entitlements due to COVID-19

New York state’s travel guidance was updated on March 15. Click here to view it

A message from Lisa Failla, Assistant Superintendent for Business:

As you may be aware, recent state and federal legislation have provided additional leave entitlements for employees for certain circumstances related to COVID-19. These new laws are summarized below and in the attached employee notices.

New York State Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 (NYS COVID Leave)

NYS COVID Leave provides paid leave at the employee’s full rate of pay for a maximum of 14 calendar days when an employee is unable to work or telework because he or she is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation. 

Requesting Leave

Employees who need to take NYS COVID Leave should inform their supervisors as soon as the need for leave is known and should also complete the EPSLA request form. The Business Office MUST receive a copy of the employee’s mandatory quarantine order and the release from quarantine in order to appropriately allocate leave. 

Other Circumstances

Employees who are ill or caring for a covered family member who is ill with COVID-19 may additionally or instead qualify for regular Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave.
FMLA leave may be available where COVID-19 qualifies as a “serious health condition” according to the following:

  • COVID-19 symptoms requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility, or
  • COVID-19 symptoms that incapacitate the employee (e.g., unable to work or attend school) for more than three consecutive days and require ongoing medical treatment (either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription medication).

Employees interested in taking FMLA leave should follow existing FMLA leave request procedures.

As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New York State Human Rights Law (HRL), it is policy of the District to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified employee with a disability. If you are an individual with a disability as defined by the HRL or ADA, you may be entitled to an accommodation to enable you to perform the essential duties of your position.

Employees with questions about the above leave or those who have a disability and believe they require reasonable accommodations should be directed to my office and either myself or Jean Jaffee will explain the process and entitlements.

If any Administrator, Director or Supervisor has any questions, please reach out to one of us.

COVID -19 Quarantine Q&A

Q. If I am subject to a Federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, how will I know?

A. Most quarantine orders will come from the State or local Department of Health. You should ask yourself the following questions.

1. Was I contacted by a DOH contact tracer and told I was exposed to COVID-19 and should quarantine?

2. Was I advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine related to COVID-19?

3. Am I experiencing symptoms AND I am seeking a medical diagnosis?

If you can answer yes to any of the above 3 questions and DPH is aware, you are subject to quarantine related to COVID-19.

Q. What are my next steps if I am subject to quarantine?

A. You should do the following:

1. Contact your direct supervisor, ie: building principal or director of your department and Central Office

2.  DPH will send you an email regarding your quarantine, forward that email to lfailla@k12mcsd.net or jjaffee@k12mcsd.net

Q. What are my next steps if I am experiencing symptoms AND are seeking a medical diagnosis?

A. You should do the following:

1. Contact your direct supervisor, ie: building principal or director of your department and Central Office

2. Get a COVID-19 test. You must isolate until results are received.

a. Positive test result – You must stay in isolation at home until the local Department of Health releases you. You must provide proof in order to return to work. DPH will send you and email, forward that email to lfailla@k12mcsd.net or jjaffee@k12mcsd.net .

b. Negative test result – You must provide proof of the negative test result AND a doctor’s note with a verifiable alternative diagnosis (ie: positive for strep) in order to return to work. You cannot return to work unless you are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. If you cannot obtain a doctor’s note, you must stay out of work for 10 days. In this case, you are not ill nor are you subject to quarantine, you can only use personal time or vacation time (if applicable) in order to be paid for this time out of work.

Q. I am caring for an individual subject to a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, what do I do?

A. You should do the following:

1. Contact your direct supervisor, ie: building principal or director of your department and Central Office

2. You cannot return to work until the health care provider or DPH releases you or the person you are caring for. DPH will send you and email, forward it to lfailla@k12mcsd.net or jjaffee@k12mcsd.net.

Q. I know that some people in my building are under a quarantine order, and I am not comfortable coming in to work. I have not been notified by the Department of Health to self-quarantine, but I don’t want to expose myself. What do I do?

A. You should do the following:

1. Report to work. You cannot use sick time if you are not ill. You may request personal or vacation time. Unpaid leave is not an option.

NYS Department of Health issued new Travel Guidance (updated March 15)

Quarantine Criteria for Travel to New York from another US State or Territory

All travelers entering NY from a non-contiguous state, who have been outside of NY for more than 24 hours SHALL quarantine as follows:

  1. Obtained a test within 3 days prior to arrival in NY AND
  2. Quarantined according to DOH guidelines for a MINIMUM of 3 days, measured from time of arrival AND
  3. Obtained a diagnostic test on the 4th day in NY, measured from time of arrival

Travelers that meeting the above criteria may exit quarantine upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test result.

Domestic travelers to NY may be exempt from quarantine if they satisfy the following criteria.

  1. Asymptomatic individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine during the first 3 months after full vaccination if such travelers:
    1. Are full vaccinated (i.e.: 2 weeks after receipt of 2nd dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after receipt of one dose of a single dose vaccine); AND
    2. Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND
    3. Have remained asymptomatic since last COVID-19 exposure.


  1. Asymptomatic individuals who have previously been diagnosed with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and have since recovered, are not required to retest and quarantine with 3 months after the date of symptom onset form the initial COVID-19 infection or date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness.

Regardless of quarantine status, all individuals exposed to COVID-19 or returning from travel must:

  • Continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14;
  • Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated): AND
  • Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their health care provider to report this change in clinical status and determine is they should seek testing.

There is no paid leave for this quarantine period.

Quarantine Criteria for travel to New York from Other countries

Air passengers traveling to the US from another country show either documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 within the previous 3 months or a negative test result from no more than 3 days prior to the day of travel to the airline before boarding the flight.

After arrival in the US, travelers must quarantine for 7 days with a test 3-5 days after travel, or quarantine for the full 10 days without a test.  This requirement applies to all international travelers whether they were tested before boarding, are recovered from a previous COVID infection or are fully vaccinated.

There is no paid leave for this quarantine period.

Travel Advisory exemption for essential workers.

Teachers, school employees, and child-care workers must quarantine for a minimum of 3 days after returning to NY from a non-contiguous state.  The travel advisory exemption for essential workers does not apply to teachers, school employees or child-care workers.