Employment Protections

<< Return to Coronavirus Guidance, Resources, and Warnings

Health and Safety

Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave

New York State Paid Sick Leave Law

Local Sick Leave and Family Leave Laws

Unemployment Insurance

Workers’ Compensation for Essential Employees Continuing to Work

Protections Against Discrimination and Harassment Based on National Origin

Protections Against Discrimination for those Recovering from COVID-19

Protections Against Harassment While Telecommuting

Retaliation

Additional Protection from Retaliation for Healthcare Workers

Health and Safety


Under New York’s reopening plan, New York Forward, your employer’s obligations differ based on your region’s phase of reopening and industry. Since every region of New York is currently in Phase Four of reopening, an employer can require you to report to work. Your employer, however, is still required to comply with all health and safety laws. For further information, please visit the New York Forward website.

If you are concerned that your employer is not following New York Forward guidelines or health and safety mandates, you may file a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor. Please use the Department of Labor’s Complaint Form.


Yes. EEOC guidance states that an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before initially permitting them to enter the workplace and/or periodically to determine if their presence in the workplace poses a direct threat to others.

Certain industries, such as nursing homes, may be required to administer COVID-19 tests to employees. 


There is no rule or regulation requiring employers to require the vaccine. According to EEOC guidance, an employer can require vaccination so long as those employers respect an employee’s (1) sincerely held religious beliefs protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and (2) medical conditions which make receipt of the vaccine dangerous or otherwise inappropriate for that individual in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If any employee does not want to get a vaccination based on religious beliefs or due to a medical condition, the employee should request an accommodation from the employer. The employer should find the employee’s request to be reasonable unless it places an undue burden on the employer.

In addition, the EEOC guidance permits employers to ask employees if they have been vaccinated. However, an employer can only ask why an employee hasn’t been vaccinated if the question is “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” meaning a failure to vaccinate would pose a “direct threat” to the well-being of that employee or others in direct contact with them during their job.


Yes. On March 12, 2021 Governor Cuomo signed an order granting public and private employees up to 4 hours of paid leave per COVID-19 vaccine injection. Leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay and cannot be charged against other leave accruals. The COVID-19 vaccine law remains in effect until December 31, 2022.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance on this law. The key takeaways are:

  • Use of Leave and Employee Coverage: Paid leave is only available for an employee’s own receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. The law does not provide leave to allow an employee to assist a relative or other person to receive a vaccine.
  • Amount of Leave: The maximum number of leave hours that an employee is entitled to depends on the number of required COVID-19 vaccine injections. If a COVID-19 vaccine requires two injections, then the employee is entitled to two periods of paid leave of up to four hours each (eight hours in total).
  • Retroactive Application: The law does not create any retroactive benefit rights. Therefore, only employees who were vaccinated on or after March 12, 2021 are eligible for paid leave. However, nothing in the law prevents employers from voluntarily providing employees with such benefits retroactively.
  • Notice and Documentation Requirements: The law does not prevent an employer from requiring advance notice or proof of vaccination in order to use this leave.

An employee who does not get vaccinated due to a disability (covered by the ADA) or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance (covered by Title VII) may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. Examples of accommodations include: wearing a face mask, working at a social distance from coworkers or non-employees, working a modified shift, getting periodic tests for COVID-19, teleworking, or accepting a reassignment.


Employees who are not vaccinated because of pregnancy may be entitled to adjustments to keep working, if the employer makes modifications or exceptions for other employees. These modifications may include telework, changes to work schedules or assignments, and leave to the extent they are provided for other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.


Yes. An employer may ask about vaccination status and request documentation or confirmation that an employee received the vaccine from a third party.


Yes, with limitations. An employer may offer an incentive to employees that voluntarily receive a vaccination or provide documentation of administration. The incentive must not be so substantial as to be coercive. Employers may also provide employees and their family members educational materials about the vaccination.


Guidance implementing Executive Order 202.6 states that, “Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health (DOH) and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distancing measures to the extent possible.”

Guidance implementing “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People” states that “Businesses are authorized to require masks and six feet distancing for employees and/or patrons within their establishments OR adhere to CDC guidance, which advises that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks or be socially distanced in most settings.”


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration directs businesses to provide face coverings or surgical masks to unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers at no cost.


CDC Guidance requires, “If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)” , thereby permitting the “fellow employees [to] self-monitor for symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath).”

The same CDC Guidance also requires that the employer “Perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfection, . . . [and] enhanced cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility.” In particular, CDC Disinfection Recommendations explain that the employer should “Close off areas used by the person who is sick and do not use those areas until after cleaning and disinfecting. Wait as long as possible (at least several hours) before you clean and disinfect. Open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans or HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) settings to increase air circulation in the area. Use products from EPA List N according to the instructions on the product label. Wear a mask and gloves while cleaning and disinfecting. Focus on the immediate areas occupied by the person who is sick or diagnosed with Covid-19 unless they have already been cleaned and disinfected . . . If less than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, clean and disinfect the space. If more than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, cleaning is enough. You may choose to also disinfect depending on certain conditions or everyday practices required by your facility.


In June 2021 the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address the dangers of COVID-19 to workers in healthcare settings. The ETS is applicable to hospitals, nursing homes and assisting living facilities. A summary of the ETS is located at OSHA Healthcare ETS Summary.

OSHA also updated its optional COVID-19 safety guidelines for all other workplaces, to:

  • Focus protections on unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers
  • Encourage COVID-19 vaccination, and
  • Add links to guidance with the most up-to-date content

Use this link to see all of the OSHA Safety Guidelines

Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave

These emergency sick and family leave laws offer specific protections for people diagnosed with, have symptoms of, or quarantined for COVID-19, people caring for those with COVID-19, or people caring for children whose schools or day care have closed due to COVID-19.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) took effect on April 1, 2020, and its mandatory provisions expired on December 31, 2020. The requirement that employers provide emergency paid sick leave or expanded family medical leave under the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020. Employers may, however, choose to provide FFCRA paid sick leave and paid family leave benefits through September 30, 2021 and will receive a tax credit.

The state law took effect March 18, 2020. The list of qualifying reasons to use these benefits has been expanded, and now includes leave to get a vaccine and leave to recover from ill side-effects after you’ve been vaccinated.


Employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and were seeking a medical diagnosis between April 1 and December 31, 2020, are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave at their usual rate of pay, capped at $5,110, if they were working for employers of 499 employees or less, with limited exceptions, under federal law.

Under the federal FFCRA, an employer may (but is not required to) exclude health care providers and emergency responders from taking emergency paid sick and family leave. The U.S. Department of Labor has provided this guidance on coverage under the FFCRA


Individuals who have, have symptoms of, or have been exposed to COVID-19 may be eligible for a mandatory or precautionary quarantine order from the local Health Department.  To get information and guidance on obtaining a quarantine order, please refer to Guidance on Obtaining an Order of Quarantine and this list of county health department contacts.

Both federal and state law provide protections for those under quarantine or isolation orders.  Under the state law, the employee must be under an order issued by the local Health Department.  Further information is available on the factsheet, Guidance on Obtaining an Order of Quarantine.

If the local Health Department is not able to immediately provide an order of quarantine, the employee can submit documentation from a licensed medical provider that meets certain requirements.  Guidance on documentation from a licensed medical provider can also be found on the Obtaining an Order For Mandatory or Precautionary Quarantine factsheet

The state paid leave provisions only apply if they are more protective than the federal leave provisions (either because the federal leave provisions do not apply to an employee, or because the state law provides more coverage). The state law protections do not apply to those who are under quarantine or self-isolation at home but are not symptomatic and are able to work remotely. The state law also protects health care providers and health responders who may not be covered by the federal law. More information on these leave benefits is available on the New York Paid Leave for COVID-19 website.

Employers must pay the same amount of wages that the worker would have otherwise received had he/she continued to work for the period covered by the order. Whether state or federal protections govern depends on employer size and the date of the leave. This means that:

For employers with 100 or more employees

  • Employees are entitled to up to 14 calendar days of paid sick leave during the period covered by the order, under state law. The employer is required to pay the wages that the employee would have otherwise received in the 14-calendar-day period (as opposed to 14 business days) at the employee’s regular rate.

For employers with between 50 and 99 employees

  • Employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave at full pay, with a maximum of $5,110 total, under federal law if the leave occurred between April 1 and December 31, 2020.

For employers with fewer than 50 employees

  • Under federal law, employers with fewer than 50 employees are obligated to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at full pay, with a maximum of $ 5,110 total, with limited exceptions, if the leave occurred between April 1 and December 31, 2020. For employers falling into one of the exceptions in the federal law, or if the leave occurs after December 31, 2020, state law provides as follows:

For employers with between 11 and 99 employees and employers with between 1 and 10 employees with net income of over $1 million in 2019

  • Employees are entitled to 5 days of paid sick leave at their regular rate of pay during the period covered by the order and. unpaid leave until the termination of the order. After 5 days of paid sick leave, an employee shall be eligible for paid family leave and/or disability benefits.

For employers with between 1 and 10 employees and net income less than $1 million in 2019

  • Employees are not entitled to this paid sick leave; instead they are entitled to unpaid leave until the termination of the order, and must use paid family leave and/or disability benefits for the period of quarantine/isolation.

Employees may also apply for state paid family leave and temporary disability benefits to cover the rest of a quarantine period, or while they or a family member continue to be sick.  For state family leave benefits, the maximum weekly allowance is $840.70.  For emergency temporary disability benefits, the maximum weekly allowance is $2,043.92.  For more information on state paid family leave, please call the PFL Helpline at (844) 337-6303 or visit the Paid Family Leave for Family Care website.


Employees were entitled to up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at two-thirds pay, with a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 in total, with limited exceptions, under federal law, if they were caring for someone who had COVID-19 or had been quarantined between April 1 and December 31, 2020. U.S. Department of Labor regulations say the person the employee is caring for must be an “the Employee’s immediate family member, a person who regularly resides in the Employee’s home, or a similar person with whom the Employee has a relationship that creates an expectation that the Employee would care for” them.

Employees are also entitled to use state paid family leave to care for sick family members or for children under mandatory quarantine. For state family leave benefits, employees will be compensated at 60% of their average weekly earnings for 10 weeks with a maximum weekly allowance of $840.70 per week. For more information on state paid family leave, please call the PFL Helpline at (844) 337-6303 or visit the Paid Family Leave for Family Care website.


Employees were entitled to use federal emergency sick leave and emergency family leave to care for children whose schools or day care or preschool facilities closed due to COVID-19 between April 1 and December 31, 2020, if they were working for employers of 499 employees or less, with limited exceptions, under federal law. The law also applies if a regular child care provider became unavailable due to COVID-19. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from providing family leave if it jeopardized their business viability. For federal paid sick leave benefits, the employee will receive two-thirds pay with a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate. For federal family leave benefits, employees can use the emergency paid sick leave for two weeks (to be compensated at a maximum of $2,000 total for those two weeks), and will be compensated at 67% of their regular rate for the following ten weeks, with a maximum of $10,000 total.


Under the federal law, self-employed individuals who would have been entitled to paid sick or family leave if they were employees will receive a tax credit if they lost work between April 1 and December 31, 2020, because: (a) they were ordered by a health department or advised by a health care provider to quarantine or self-quarantine, (b) had symptoms of COVID-19 and were seeking a medical diagnosis, (c) were caring for someone in one of the first two categories, or (d) were caring for a child whose school or day care closes. For days when employees would have been entitled to full pay up to $511 per day, the amount of the tax credit will be the lesser of the individual’s daily self-employment income, or $511 per day. For days when employees would have been entitled to two-thirds of their regular pay up to $200 per day, the amount of the tax credit will be the lesser of 67% of average daily self-employment income, or $200 per day.


Both federal and state law prohibit retaliation, including discipline, firing, or otherwise discriminating against an individual, for taking sick or family leave.

If you have been retaliated against for taking or requesting emergency leave, you should contact the Attorney General’s Office using the Labor Bureau’s complaint form. You may also email labor.bureau@ag.ny.gov or call (212) 416-8700.

New York State Paid Sick Leave Law

Effective January 1, 2021, New York’s paid sick leave law requires employers with five or more employees or net income of more than $1 million to provide paid sick leave to employees and for employers with fewer than five employees and a net income of $1 million or less to provide unpaid sick leave to employees. This new law is in addition to the New York State provisions already in effect providing emergency paid sick time due to COVID-19. The amount of paid sick leave depends on employer size. This means that:

Employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.

Employers with 5-99 employees, and employers with 0-4 employees with net income in excess of $1 million must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.

Employers with 0-4 employees whose net income is $1 million or less must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year.

On September 30, 2020, covered employees in New York State began to accrue leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.

Local Sick Leave and Family Leave Laws

In addition to the protections for COVID-19 recovery and the new New York State law, New York City and Westchester County have generally-available paid sick leave and family leave protections for those with, or caring for family members with, other illnesses or medical conditions.


Most employees in New York City and Westchester have up to five days of paid sick leave per year if they work for an employer that has more than five employees or if the employee is a domestic worker.

Employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked and most employees can take sick time after they have worked for the employer for 120 days (employees in Westchester can begin taking sick time after 90 days of employment). Employees must be able to carry over at least 40 hours of accrued sick time year to year.

This means that full-time employees will have at least five paid sick days if they have worked for an employer for more than eight months.

Employees should request leave from their employers. An employee may be required to provide reasonable notice (but no more than seven days) only if the use of sick time is foreseeable. Otherwise, for unexpected medical issues, no advance notice is required, but an employer may require that notice be given as soon as practicable.

An employer may not require employees to provide documentation from medical professionals about the necessity of sick leave unless the employee is out for more than three consecutive days. If you have been unlawfully denied sick leave or for more information, please visit:


Employees who become ill or injured off-the-job may be eligible for temporary disability benefits. Disability benefits are paid at 50% of an employee’s average weekly wage with a maximum of $170 per week.

For more information on temporary disability benefits, please visit the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board or contact by phone at (877) 632-4996 or via e-mail at Claims@wcb.ny.gov. For information on how to file a claim, please visit the New York State Workers’ Compensation Claim page.


Most employees in New York can take 12 weeks of partially paid leave to take care of a family member with a serious health condition. Employees will be compensated at 67% of their average weekly earnings with a maximum weekly allowance of $971.61 per week.

Full-time employees may start taking leave after 26 weeks of starting work and part-time employees may start taking leave after 175 days of work.

Employees should request leave from their employers. An employee may be required to notify the employer 30 days in advance if the leave is foreseeable. If the leave is unexpected, then employees must give their employers notice as soon as practicable.

Please note that employees generally may not use leave for their own medical conditions.

If you have been unlawfully denied family leave or for more information on state paid family leave, please call the NYS Paid Family Leave Helpline at (844) 337-6303 or visit the NYS Paid Family Leave resource page.


Employees are guaranteed 12 weeks of job-protected leave within a 12-month period if they are sick or need to take care of a sick family member if they work for an employer of 50 or more for at least a year, under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Family members include spouses, children, and parents. Employees may take this leave on a part-time or intermittent basis. Your employer must continue your health insurance during the leave of absence, although employees may be asked to make employee contributions.

Employees should request leave from their employers. Employees must give employers 30 days’ notice if leave is foreseeable.

If you have been unlawfully denied FMLA leave, or for more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division or call 1-866-487-9243.

Unemployment Insurance


Employees may be entitled to unemployment insurance payments for 26 weeks if they are laid off on a temporary or permanent basis through no fault of their own. The amount of benefits employees receive depends on their average weekly rate, with a minimum of $104 per week and a maximum of $504 per week. In order to qualify for weekly benefits, employees must continue to look for work.

Employees should apply for unemployment insurance with the New York Department of Labor immediately after they are laid off.  To file unemployment insurance claims please visit the NYS Department of Labor. You may file a claim online, or you can call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124. Once you file a claim for benefits, you must also claim weekly benefits (also known as “certifying for benefits”) for each week you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements. You can claim your weekly benefits each week online, or by calling (888) 581-5812.

For more information about the unemployment insurance claim process and eligibility, please visit the NYS Department of Labor claimant handbook.

**During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Labor is not requiring applicants to wait one week before receiving unemployment insurance benefits.


The federal CARES Act provided enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, PUA is now available through September 5, 2021, for a maximum of 86 weeks of benefits. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) of $300 per week is also available through September 5, 2021. Effective August 9, 2021, extended State unemployment insurance benefits are available for a maximum of 13 weeks. Claimants who have received 13 or more weeks of extended benefits will no longer be eligible for extended benefits on their existing claim after the benefit week of August 9, 2021, but may be eligible for PEUC or PUA through September 5, 2021. For more information visit the Department of Labor’s website.

To receive these extended federal benefits, continue to certify weekly while unemployed. There is no need to reapply or contact DOL unless your benefit year has come to an end or you are asked to submit a new application.

The Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program is now available for eligible claimants for the benefit weeks ending January 3, 2021 to September 5, 2021. To see if you are eligible and apply for the program, visit their website.


Yes. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors). These individuals are eligible if they cannot work because of COVID-19. Some of the reasons include: a positive COVID-19 diagnosis of the individual or a family member, having symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking diagnosis, they are the primary caregiver of a child whose school closed due to the virus, their place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19, etc. DOL has a streamlined application that allows you to apply for either regular UI or PUA, depending on your eligibility. You do not have to complete a separate application for PUA. The application will determine which program you should be applying for and then prompt you to answer program-specific questions. For more information on the PUA and eligibility, please visit the NYS Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance guidance.


As of January 18, 2021, the Department of Labor has modified its system for partial unemployment eligibility so that you can take on part-time work without losing a disproportionate amount of unemployment and pandemic benefits. This new partial unemployment system uses an “hours-based” approach. You can work up to 7 days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week, if you work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay excluding earnings from self-employment. With this change, your benefits will not be reduced for each day you engage in part-time work. Instead, benefits will be reduced in increments based on your total hours of work for the week. See the following link for further information on how this impacts weekly certifications and guidance for claiming partial benefits: Partial Unemployment Eligibility


You may be entitled to unemployment insurance even if you are classified as an independent contractor. If an employer has sufficient control over your schedule, pay, and day-to-day work conditions, you may be misclassified as an independent contractor.

Any worker that experiences loss in work may apply for unemployment insurance with the New York Department of Labor. To file unemployment insurance claims, please visit the NYS Department of Labor.


If you believe you are the victim of identity theft related to unemployment insurance, including someone filing a false claim using your personal information, you can report the fraud to the New York State Department of Labor by submitting an online form, calling a toll-free hotline, or by mail. The best way to contact the New York State Department of Labor is to fill out the online form. Information on reporting unemployment insurance benefit fraud and a link to the online form are available here. In addition, you can take steps to protect your credit by filing an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission. Information on filing an FTC identity theft report and a link to the report form are available here.


Yes. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed by President Biden includes an opportunity for six months of free COBRA coverage between April and September of 2021 for employees who lost their health plan via involuntary termination or reduced hours. Individuals who are eligible for other health care plans or Medicare are not eligible for this subsidy.


The state has enacted a new program called the Excluded Workers Fund that provides a one-time payment to workers with low income who lost income due to COVID-19 and who are not otherwise eligible for UI or PUA due to immigration status or other factors. For more information, please visit their website.

Workers’ Compensation


Employees that contract COVID-19 at their place of work may be entitled to workers’ compensation insurance during any treatment or recovery.  Employees receive weekly benefits of two-thirds of their average weekly pay rate multiplied by their percentage of disability with a maximum payment of $1063.05 per week.

Employees should apply for benefits with the Workers’ Compensation Board. To file a Workers’ Compensation claim please visit the Workers’ Compensation Board or call (877) 632-4996 for questions or assistance.

Protections Against Discrimination and Harassment Based on National Origin


Employers are prohibited by federal, state, and city law from treating employees differently based on race or national origin. If you have been fired, demoted, or harassed because your employer believes that you are from a country where there is a high incidence of COVID-19 cases, you may file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

Completed forms can be mailed to the Civil Rights Bureau, emailed to civil.rights@ag.ny.gov or faxed to (212) 416-6030. You may also call (212) 416-8250.

Employees may also file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you work at a workplace with more than 15 people. Complaints with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory incident. You may also call (800) 669-4000.

Any employee may file with the NYS Division of Human Rights. Complaints with the NYS Division of Human Rights must be filed within one year. You may also call (888) 392-3644.

New York City employees may file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights if your employer has employed more than three people in the past year. You may call (718) 722-3131.

Disability-Related Inquiries & Medical Exams


Yes. Federal law allows employers to ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. Your employer is required to keep this information confidential.


Yes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that temperature checks and mandatory medical tests for COVID-19 are job-related and consistent with business necessity. An employer may not, however, require than an employee be tested for antibodies.


Yes. Employers may ask employees physically entering the workplace if they have COVID-19 or symptoms associated with the virus. Employers may require you to stay home if you have tested positive for or have symptoms of COVID-19 to protect the health of others. However, employers are generally not allowed to ask these questions of employees who are teleworking or not interacting with others.

Protections Against Discrimination for those with or Recovering from COVID-19 (See Section D of the EEOC Guidance)


Under federal, state, and local law, employers must provide a reasonable accommodation for employees if, as a result of a long- or short-term disability, they need an accommodation to perform their jobs. Reasonable accommodations can include telecommuting, staggering your schedule, or taking leave. Short-term disabilities protected under the anti-discrimination laws includes severe but temporary illnesses.

Employees should request an accommodation from their employers.

If you have been unlawfully denied an accommodation, you may file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

Employees may also file a complaint with the federal EEOC if you work at a workplace with more than 15 people. Complaints with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory incident. You may also call (800) 669-4000.

Any employee may file with the NYS Division of Human Rights. Complaints with the SDHR must be filed within one year. You may also call (888) 392-3644.

New York City employees may file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights if your employer has employed more than three people in the past year. Complaints must be filed within one year of the last alleged wrongful act. For more information, you may call (718) 722-3131.


No. An employer is not required to accommodate an employee without a disability based on the disability-related needs of a family member or other person with whom they are associated.


Federal, state, and local law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for a disability or a perceived disability. If you have been fired, demoted, or harassed because you are being treated for or recovering from COVID-19, please file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

Completed forms can be mailed to the Civil Rights Bureau, emailed to civil.rights@ag.ny.gov or faxed to (212) 416-6030. You may also call (212) 416-8250.

Employees may also file a complaint with the federal EEOC if you work at a workplace with more than 15 people. Complaints with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory incident. You may also call (800) 669-4000.

Any employee may file with the State Division of Human Rights. Complaints with the SDHR must be filed within one year. You may also call (888) 392-3644.

New York City employees may file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights if your employer has employed more than three people in the past year. Complaints must be filed within one year of the last alleged wrongful act. For more information, you may call (718) 722-3131.


Yes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that temperature checks and mandatory medical tests for COVID-19 are job-related and consistent with business necessity.  An employer may not, however, require than an employee be tested for anti-bodies.

Protections Against Harassment While Telecommuting


Yes. All federal, state, and local anti-harassment laws still apply whether or not work is conducted within the four corners of the job site or within your own home. You can report workplace harassment to federal, state, and city agencies.

Retaliation


Retaliation is prohibited for exercising your right to paid or unpaid sick or family leave, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, complaining about health and safety conditions, national origin or race, discrimination, or requesting an accommodation for a disability.

There is also a narrow protection from retaliation under New York’s whistleblower protection law, Labor Law Section 740, by which an employer is prohibited from taking retaliatory action against an employee who “discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body an activity, policy or practice of the employer that is in violation of law, rule or regulation which violation creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety” or who “objects to, or refuses to participate in any such activity, policy or practice in violation of a law, rule or regulation.” NY Lab. L. § 740(2)(c).

In order to prove a claim under this law, a worker must prove that:

(1) she disclosed or threatened to disclose an activity, policy, or practice of her employer to a supervisor or public body, or objected to or refused to participate in an activity, policy, or practice of the employer; 

(2) the underlying activity, policy, or practice constituted an actual violation of a law, rule, or regulation,

(3) the violation presented a substantial and specific danger to the public; and

(4) the employer fired or disciplined the worker because of her activity in item (1).

If you believe you have been retaliated against for exercising any of your rights above, you should file a complaint with the Labor Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office, email labor.bureau@ag.ny.gov, or call (212) 416-8700.

Additional Protection from Retaliation for Healthcare Workers


Healthcare services professionals who disclose or threaten to disclose information to their supervisors or to the public about the quality of care patients receive are protected from retaliation.

Healthcare professionals with concerns about patient care during the COVID-19 outbreak should contact the NYS Department of Health.

Healthcare employees with concerns about retaliation for reporting patient care issues should contact the Attorney General's Office.