Woman taking care of elderly family member

The Chair of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board adopted an emergency amendment, effective March 27, 2020, to the paid family leave regulations under New York’s Disability Benefits Law to clarify that covered workers may take paid family leave to care for a family member with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The emergency amendment expands the definition of “serious health condition” to include “a COVID-19 diagnosis by a health care provider,” regardless of whether or not the family member has undergone inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility, or is subject to continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.

Employers should note that this amendment does not affect the recently enacted New York law that allows eligible employees to use paid family leave and/or disability benefits during the period of a qualifying COVID-19 quarantine or isolation order. Rather, the emergency rule clarifies that employees may be eligible for paid family leave to care for a covered family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, without needing a quarantine or isolation order issued by a local health department or other authorized government entity.

Because the amendment was made though emergency rulemaking, it is effective for only 90 days, through June 25, 2020.

If you’re looking for assistance managing claims or to ensure compliance across your organization, ReedGroup has solutions for you. Check out our offerings here.


Information provided on this blog is intended for general educational use. It is not intended to provide legal advice. ReedGroup does not provide legal services. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this or any other topic.

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