You can learn about how businesses will be reopening, health and safety in the workplace, your rights under the law, and other resources to help you return to work during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

NY State's Health Guidance

As of June 15, 2021, the State's health guidance and New York Forward industry-specific guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing—are now lifted for most businesses and other commercial settings.

To learn more about NY State's health guidance, visit the business section of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety page.

Vaccine Mandates

Businesses

The Key to NYC program requires employees and customers 12 and older to prove they are vaccinated before entering businesses conducting the following activities:

  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness
  • Indoor entertainment

The mandate began on August 17 and enforcement will begin on September 13.

Learn more by visiting the following pages:

Public Schools

At this time, there is no general vaccine mandate for students ages 12 or older attending public school. However, vaccination will be required for all students and staff participating in high-risk sports.

DOE employees must also receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 27. Learn more on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Schools page.

City Workers

To learn about mandates for City government workers, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and City Workers page.

Healthcare Workers

In New York State, all healthcare workers. including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities that are public or private, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27.

These facilities include: 

  • Adult care 
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Other congregate care settings

The State Department of Health will require these facilities to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccination, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.

You should contact your employer’s human resources department for more information.

State Court System

By September 7, all NY State court system workers are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or they will need to be tested weekly for COVID-19.

Learn more about the vaccine mandate.

In addition to keeping their workers and customers safe during the COVID-19 crisis, employers must continue to follow the workplace protection laws in place for their employees.

For information about vaccine mandates for City government workers, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and City Workers page.

Worker Rights

Sick Leave

Under NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member. The federal and state governments have also passed laws to protect workers.  To learn more, visit the Paid Safe and Sick Leave page.

In addition to paid sick leave, employees may be eligible for 2 additional days of unpaid leave under NYC’s Temporary Schedule Change Law. For more information, visit the Temporary Work Schedule Change page.

Work Schedule Changes

Under the law, covered employees have a right to temporary changes to their work schedule for certain personal events. Learn more on the Temporary Work Schedule Change page.

Commuter Benefits Law

Most New York City companies with 20 or more full-time employees must provide pre-tax transit benefits. Learn more on the Commuter Benefits Law page. 

Work Protections for Specific Workers

Retail and Fast Food Workers

Retail and fast food employers must offer employees predictable work schedules and give advance notice of changes or cancelations. Learn more on the Fair Workweek Law page.

Grocery Store Workers

After a grocery store is sold, the former owner and new owner must notify the store's workers about the change in ownership and their employment rights. For more information, visit the Grocery Store Sale Requirements page.

Paid Care Workers

Paid care workers include homecare and domestic workers such as:

  • Nannies
  • Caregivers
  • Home health aides
  • Personal care aides
  • Home attendants
  • House cleaners

You can learn about paid care worker rights, legal responsibilities for employers and get help with questions or complaints on the Paid Care Worker or Employer Assistance page.

Freelance Workers

You can learn about freelance worker rights, legal responsibilities for employers, and get help with questions or complaints, including contract disputes and payment issues on the Freelance Worker and Hiring Party Assistance page.

COVID-19 Discrimination

Employers cannot harass or discriminate against workers because of fears or stigma around COVID-19, including harassment or discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, national origin, disability, or other protected classes.

If this is happening to you, you can report it to the NYC Commission on Human Rights. Learn more on the Discrimination page.

Paid Sick Leave

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need documentation so you can receive paid sick leave from your employer, visit the Paid Safe and Sick Leave page for information.

City government employees began to return to offices on May 3. Each Agency developed a "Return to Office Plan" to bring workers back safely, approved by the Mayoral Restart Taskforce.

Learn more on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and City Workers page.

Financial Assistance

You can get information about cash assistance, SNAP, and other resources for New Yorkers during the outbreak on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Support page.

NYC Financial Empowerment Centers also provide free one-on-one professional, financial counseling over the phone. Learn more on the Financial Counseling page.

Unemployment and Jobs

If you have become totally or partially unemployed due to COVID-19, you can claim unemployment insurance benefits. New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines.

To learn more, visit the Unemployment Insurance page.

Through Workforce1 Career Centers, you can receive free professional employment and training services that can help you find a job or develop your career. Currently, Workforce1 Career Centers are providing services online and by phone.

To learn more, visit the Workforce1 Career Centers page.

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