Employment Law Update: COVID Rules Still in Effect for Business

September 12, 2022

While we are all ready to put Covid in the rear-view mirror, unfortunately it is still impacting the workplace. Most Covid-related restrictions and laws have been lifted, but not all. Here are a few Covid rules still in place:

Covid Rule: PTO for Boosters?

New Covid-19 booster shots targeting the Omicron subvariants hit the shelves in New York this week. Employers are still required to provide up to four hours of paid leave to employees in the State to receive a Covid-19 vaccine or booster. Employees are entitled to this leave for initial vaccine doses and any booster shots they are eligible to receive, including the new booster shots.

Covid Rule: Is Paid Covid Leave Still Required?

New York State’s paid Covid leave law is still in effect. Depending on the size of your workforce, employees under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19 may be eligible for between five and fourteen days of paid sick leave. This is job-protected leave and is in addition to paid sick leave or other paid time off. After receiving paid Covid-19 leave, if the employee is still unable to work, they may be eligible to use any accrued sick leave or other paid time off and may also be eligible to apply for New York State Paid Family Leave and disability benefits. An employee may qualify for Covid leave in connection with up to three orders of quarantine or isolation.

Covid Rule: Remember the HERO Act?

     The New York HERO Act is still alive and well. Under the Act, private employers are required to have a HERO Act prevention plan in place and be ready to activate your plan if the Commissioner of Health designates a disease as presenting a serious risk of harm to the public health. While the designation of Covid-19 as a serious risk under the statute ended on March 17, 2022, the requirement to maintain a Hero Act prevention plan, and to distribute and post the plan, remain in effect.

Covid Rule: Are Masks Still Required?

The New York State mask or vaccine requirement for indoor business settings was lifted over six months ago. 

One of the last mask requirements in the State – for public transportation, correctional facilities, detention centers and homeless shelters – was just lifted on September 7th.  Mask requirements remain for adult care facilities and other health facilities regulated by the State Department of Health. 

Employers may still require masks if they choose to do so, as long as the requirement complies with employment discrimination laws requiring accommodations in certain circumstances.


If you would like to speak to an attorney about Covid rules in the workplace or any other employment law matters, please contact Stacey Trien at the email address or telephone number below.


Stacey E. Trien is a founding partner with the law firm of Adams Leclair LLP.  She focuses her practice on employment law and commercial litigation.  She can be reached at, or by telephone at (585) 327-4100.


Attorney Advertising:  The enclosed materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.

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