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Information for DOL Employees During Coronavirus Emergency

Important! Please check this page 30 minutes prior to the start of your work day and again during your work day.

See latest information and resources about the COVID-19 coronavirus on the websites of the NYS Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From ITS: Updated Guidance on Working Remotely

Updated: May 18, 2020

In accordance with the recent memorandum issued May 14 regarding the public health emergency for the COVID-19 virus, directing all non-essential employees of New York State's agencies and public authorities to continue working from home, the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) requests that you review important updates to the ITS Working Remotely web page. This web page is a valuable resource that includes information, guidance, and answers to your frequently asked questions as you continue to work remotely.

Recent updates include:

  • Working Remotely Hygiene Guidelines – providing important information for those conducting state work from personal devices.
  • Frequently Asked Questions – answers to a variety of questions related to your remote working experience.

If you have any questions while performing your daily activities, please check the ITS Working Remotely web page. If you require additional assistance, please visit the ITSM Self-Service Portal for Password Reset Management, Chat Support, and to submit ITS Service Desk Requests.

State non-essential workforce to continue to work from home through May 31, 2020

Updated: May 15, 2020

In response to the public health emergency related to the COVID-19 virus, the Governor has directed the state non-essential workforce to continue to work from home through May 31, 2020.

If you have any questions about your status, please contact your manager.

Please continue to monitor email and periodically check the DOL website for situational updates.

Federal Paid Family Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave

Updated: May 8, 2020

Due to COVID-19, information regarding state policy on precautionary and mandatory quarantine and federal law regarding Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Family Medical Leave expansion is contained below.

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) issued a policy for employees or employees whose children are placed by a health care provider on mandatory or precautionary quarantine related to COVID-19. This policy provides employees leave with pay without charge to accruals for all workdays within the 14-day period of the quarantine. This leave will be provided regardless of whether an employee is symptomatic. If an employee placed on mandatory or precautionary quarantine can work from home, arrangements should be made to do so. If not, the employee will be placed on leave with pay, without charge to accruals, for all workdays within the 14-day period of quarantine. If you think you may need leave under these circumstances, please contact the Office of Employee Relations at (518) 457-6651 or [email protected].

The Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (FEPSLA)
As a result of recently enacted federal law, beginning April 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, every New York State employee will be eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave if unable to work or work from home because the employee:

  1. Is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19,
  2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19,
  3. Is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis,
  4. Is caring for an individual subject to either an order, as described above in (1), or self-quarantine, as described above in (2),
  5. Is caring for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19, or
  6. Is experiencing any other condition specified by the federal government; however, the federal government has not yet identified anything in this category.

Leave for numbers 1, 2, and 3 above will be paid at 100% of an employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $511.00 daily, capped at $5,110.00 for the two-week period.

Leave for numbers 4, 5, and 6 above will be paid at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200.00 daily, capped at $2,000.00 for each two-week period.

After the first 10 workdays within the 14-day period of quarantine, if there is a continued need for leave related to COVID-19, all employees are eligible for additional leave and must submit appropriate documentation to the Personnel Office.

  1. In lieu of these paid benefits, employees may elect to use any available accruals.
  2. Employees cannot use existing leave entitlements (e.g., sick leave, vacation, or personal leave) to supplement their pay while using FEPSLA COVID-19 public health emergency leave.
  3. There is a maximum of 10 days available under this leave
  4. If there is a continued need for leave beyond the 10 day max, employees must contact the Personnel Office to be placed on a medical leave of absence pursuant to agency rules and regulations and acceptable documentation must be provided to the Personnel Office
  5. Codes to be used in LATS during this period can be found under FEPSLA-OTH and/or FEPSLASELF:
    • 375-Leave for FEPSLA - self
    • 376-Leave for FEPSLA - other

Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA)
In addition to the leave described above, New York State employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their request for leave may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave for caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19), paid at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay up to $200.00 daily, capped at $10,000.00 for the additional 10 week period. The first two weeks will be covered under FEPSLA and will run concurrent with EFMLA.

  1. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 work weeks of EFMLA leave from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020; any FMLA an employee used prior to April 1, 2020, for reasons other than those related to COVID-19, is subtracted from this 12 weeks of EFMLA Leave. This new period of FMLA does not provide an additional 12 weeks of leave entitlement; employees are still limited to a total of 12 weeks of FMLA for 2020.
  2. EFMLA cannot be used intermittently and may only be used once in a pay period to cover consecutive day absences. If there is an additional need for EFMLA leave within the same pay period, please contact Personnel.
  3. If the employee does not have any FMLA eligibility for 2020, any available leave accruals must be charged or employee will be placed in a leave without pay status.
  4. If the employee is taking EFMLA, they may take paid sick leave for the first 10 days of that leave period by utilizing FEPSLA pursuant to maximum amount allowed; under these circumstances, the employee is subject to a maximum of $200 per day, or $2,000 over the entire 2-week period, OR they may charge any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or sick leave available.
  5. After the first 10 days, the employee is entitled to be paid for the leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay multiplied by the number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work. The amount of paid leave is capped at $200 a day, but may not exceed a total of $10,000 for the 2-week period.
  6. For the following 10 weeks, employees will be paid for their leave at an amount no less than two-thirds of their regular rate of pay for the hours they would be normally scheduled to work. The employee will not receive more than $200 per day or $12,000 for the total EFMLA period.
  7. Employees cannot use existing leave accruals (e.g., sick leave, vacation, or personal leave) to supplement their pay while using EFMLA COVID-19 public health emergency leave.
  8. Codes to be used in LATS during this period can be found under FEPSLA-OTH;
    • 377-Leave for FEPSLA-FMLA – child

If you would like to apply for either of these benefits, please send an email to [email protected] with your name, contact information including phone number or email, and the type and reason for leave. If your leave is due to no child care, you must provide the name and age of your child, name/address of school or day care provider and how long you will need to be out. A staff person from the Leaves Unit will contact you upon receipt to inform you of your eligibility.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Personnel Office at [email protected].

Face Coverings

Updated: May 8, 2020

To comply with NYS Executive Order No. 202.17 and NYS Department of Health guidelines, individuals who can medically tolerate a face covering are required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing of at least six feet.

Situations where a mask or face covering should be used in your workplace include, but are not limited to:

  • entering and exiting the building,
  • in elevators,
  • in populated common areas, and
  • other settings where you must interact with others and cannot maintain social distancing of at least six feet.

Staff may use personally owned masks or face coverings. The Department of Labor will provide a mask for staff who do not have one.

Your appropriate adherence to this direction is critical to supporting the health and safety of yourself and others.

If you have questions regarding this direction, please contact the DOL Office of Employee Relations at [email protected] or 518-457-6651.

Voluntary Reduction Work Schedule (VRWS) agreements have been extended

Updated: May 5, 2020

The 2019-2020 fiscal year Voluntary Reduction Work Schedule (VRWS) agreements expired on 04/01/2020. Typically, in order to continue, change or cancel your VRWS participation for the upcoming fiscal year, a new VRWS form must be submitted to Personnel. Due to COVID-19, all VRWS agreements have been extended into the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

If you would like to make a change to your current percentage or cancel your participation, please complete the VRWS form and forward to Personnel at [email protected].

If your participation in the program has been extended, we will obtain a updated application at a later time.

WebEx Best Practices

Updated: May 4, 2020

WebEx is a tool we use every day at the NYS Department of Labor. This powerful online product has a wide variety of features that make hosting and attending a webinar easy and interactive. There are two recorded webinars in the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS) that provide the best practices for WebEx: WebEx Facilitation Tips and How to WebEx. Please see the WebEx Best Practices flyer for information about registering for the webinars.

Clarification Regarding Calculation of Overtime (Extra Service/Out of Title) Related to COVID-19

Updated: May 1, 2020

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations recently provided clarification to State Agencies regarding the calculation of overtime related to COVID-19 as follows:

There have been questions about the calculation of overtime in extra service and out of title work assignments related to COVID-19, the following information is provided to inform you about how the State is calculating this overtime.

Any extra service or out of title overtime earned in a position allocated to a salary grade other than your regular position, including work in DOL and DOH call centers or any other aspect of COVID-19 response, shall be computed in accordance with Budget Bulletin G-1024, for overtime eligible employees, and Budget Bulletin H-0501, for overtime ineligible employees in salary grades 23 through 27/M2.

Under Budget Bulletin G-1024 for overtime eligible employees, when the out-of-title or extra service is worked in an overtime eligible position which is allocated to a higher or lower salary grade than the employee’s regular overtime eligible position, the employee will be paid at an overtime rate which is based on the average regular hourly rate for the two positions or, with the employee’s advance agreement, the actual regular hourly rate of the position for which the type of work is performed plus any longevities. When computing the average regular hourly rate in a lower graded position, the calculation shall include the maximum salary of the lower graded position plus longevity increments, if applicable. When computing the average hourly rate in a higher graded position, the calculation shall include the rate of compensation the employee would otherwise be entitled if permanently promoted to the higher position.

Under Budget Bulletin H-0501, which covers emergency overtime for employees in salary grades 23-27/M2, if the extra service position is allocated to a salary grade lower than the employee’s regular position, the overtime calculation shall be based on the maximum salary of the lower grade position plus longevity increments in such lower grade position. If the extra service position is allocated to a higher salary grade than the employee’s regular position, the overtime calculation shall be based on the rate of compensation the employee would be entitled if permanently promoted to the higher position. Please note that Budget Bulletin H-0501 requires that overtime payment to employees in salary grades 23 through 27/M-2 can only be made for hours of work directly attributable to COVID-19 preparedness and response.

Letter to DOL Family from Commissioner Reardon

Updated: April 25, 2020

Dear DOL Family,

I wanted to take a moment to share the newly redesigned Unemployment Insurance portion of our website (https://dol.ny.gov) and to thank the dedicated team who worked around the clock to build it.

To the members of the ITS, Web Design, Digital, and Communications teams, and those who stepped up from other departments to help, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is another critical step in helping our fellow New Yorkers get their benefits more quickly. The site is more user-friendly, making it easier for New Yorkers to access their benefits, and it will simplify their filing experience.

When we think of those on the front lines of this pandemic, we usually think of healthcare professionals, first responders, and our grocery store and essential supplies workforce. However, all of you are on the front lines, each and every day, working long and challenging hours, faced with the task of doing your jobs remotely, all while dealing with the reality of COVID-19 in your own lives and amongst your families.

This is an extraordinary time, and all of you in our DOL family are doing extraordinary things to provide a lifeline to New Yorkers when they need it the most. I am so proud and appreciative of all the work you are doing. No challenge is insurmountable when we work together. Our DOL family is going to get through this, and we are going to be stronger than ever moving forward.

Be well and stay safe, and thank you!

Commissioner Roberta Reardon

Personal and Compensatory Leave

Updated: April 17, 2020

Due to the State’s response to staffing needs resulting from the State’s response to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 situation, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) has issued guidance regarding the ability of eligible employees to carry forward unused Personal Leave that was or would have been forfeited between the dates of March 9, 2020 to May 31, 2020, and Compensatory Time scheduled to be liquidated on March 31, 2020.

Personal Leave
For example, if an employee’s anniversary date is March 23, 2020 and they have one unused day of Personal Leave, and due to the response effort or the directive to stay at home, the employee is unable to use the Personal Leave day, the employee would be allowed to have six Personal Leave days credited on their timesheet. Five new Personal Leave days in addition to the one day from the prior year. All Personal Leave carried over as a result of this policy, will expire on the day before the following anniversary date (March 23, 2021), if unused.

Compensatory Leave
Eligible employees are entitled to Compensatory Time off on a straight-time basis for time worked in excess of 37.5 hours but not in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Some of that Compensatory Time is scheduled to be liquidated not later than the close of the fiscal year following the one in which it was earned or it is forfeited. For all such Compensatory Time off scheduled to be liquidated, such time to liquidate those hours shall be extended until December 31, 2020. Afterwards, forfeiture of Compensatory time will be governed by current rules.

All Department of Labor employees who will have forfeited Personal Leave accruals or Compensatory Leave have been granted this extension. There is no action needed by staff and all timesheets will be updated.

Please make sure timesheets which ended on April 1, 2020 have been submitted, approved and processed. The BSC cannot accurately project accruals for employees with outstanding timesheets.

CSEA and PEF April 2020 Performance Advances

Updated: April 15, 2020

The April 29, 2020 paycheck will include performance advances for CSEA and PEF employees.

You qualify if you:

  • Earn a base annual salary below the job rate for your current grade, and
  • Completed one year of service in such grade by April 1, 2020, and
  • Did not receive a performance advance in October 2019, and
  • Received a “Satisfactory” rating or its equivalent on your last evaluation.

Trainees and hourly employees do not qualify for performance advances.

Email any questions to [email protected].

April 1, 2020 Performance Advances for NYSCOPBA and Council 82 employees

Updated: April 15, 2020

The April 29, 2020 paycheck will include performance advances for NYSCOPBA and Council 82 employees.

You qualify if you have:

  • A base annual salary below the job rate for your current position; and
  • Completed one hundred (100) workdays of service in such grade in State Fiscal Year 2019-2020; and
  • Received a “Satisfactory” rating or its equivalent on your last evaluation.

Pre-Shift Briefing amounts will be increased in accordance with the performance advance payments.

Email any questions to [email protected].

Filing For Retirement During the COVID-19 Emergency

Updated: 4/7/2020

The unfortunate reality of the current COVID-19 emergency is that some New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) members may become seriously, or even fatally, ill. At a time like this, it is vitally important members understand how to apply for retirement, if they need to take that step. Here is some guidance:

NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from the COVID-19 virus may wish to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to their beneficiary if they were to die, rather than the one-time, in-service death benefit.

Members, or their employer on their behalf, need to file the disability retirement application that is appropriate for his or her retirement plan. Select “Find Your Application” on the NYSLRS website to help you find the right application (scroll down on the web page). Additionally, the member, or the member’s spouse, should file a pension payment option election form to identify a beneficiary to receive the continuing benefit. An option election form cannot be filed by the employer.

Application and option election forms can be emailed directly to NYSLRS’ Disability Processing Unit.

Eligible members may also file for a service retirement. Please see the NYSLRS website for more detailed information.

March edition of OUR DOL newsletter

Updated: 3/30/2020

Commissioner Reardon expresses her thanks to you, tips for working from home, a look at how the TCC is stepping up to meet unprecedented demand - plus, a DOLicious recipe for chocolate chip cookies. All this and more in the March 2020 edition of OUR DOL. Enjoy!

Empire Plan Enrollees LiveHealth Online Telehealth Service

Updated: March 27, 2020

The Department of Civil Service has released information about Empire Plan Telehealth Services. The Empire Plan is doing all it can to support its members through this unprecedented time.

Effective today, Empire Plan members will have access to LiveHealth Online Telehealth services through Empire BlueCross. This benefit is available to members at no cost through December 31, 2020. To access LiveHealth Online, please visit empireblue.com/nys.

Attached are step-by-step instructions on how you can access this service. For additional assistance, please call 1-877-7-NYSHIP and press 2.

Working Remotely

Updated: 3/25/2020

To work remotely, please go to the ITS website for more information and to get an RSA token.

As of March 25, 2020, staff previously using VDI should use SSL VPN. Information and instructions on SSL VPN is on the ITS website.

Emergency Working Remotely Quick Guide

Updated: March 25, 2020

(You may download this guide in PDF format.)

The Emergency Working Remotely program is for staff and supervisors who are not already part of the DOL pilot telecommuting program. The dates of the Emergency Working Remotely program are currently March 16 - May 14, 2020. If you are already a participant of the DOL Pilot Telecommuting Program, you do not need to re-enroll.

All staff need to complete a two-part training, even if they are already part of the DOL Pilot Telecommuting Program. If you have taken this training since March 6, 2020, you do not need to take the training again. The first part is a live session called “DOL Telecommuting Program,” and the second part is the OITS online course “How to Work Remotely.” You must enroll in one of the “DOL Telecommuting Program” sessions listed in the chart below. Each session is listed in SLMS (https://nyslearn.ny.gov/) and will be conducted through WebEx. To enroll, log in to your SLMS account, search for the class name and enroll in the session you would like to attend. You will receive the WebEx login information the day before your selected session.

Class NameDateTimeClass Code
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 3/26/2020 1:00-2:00 032620#2_Telecom_WebEX
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 3/26/2020 3:00-4:00 032620#3_Telecom_WebEx
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 3/27/2020 10:00-11:00 032720_Telecom_WebEx
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 3/30/2020 1:00-2:00 033020_Telecom_WebEx
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 4/1/2020 9:30-10:30 040120#1_Telecom_WebEx
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 4/1/2020 1:00-2:00 040120#2_Telecom_WebEx
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 4/2/2020 10:30-11:30 040220#1_Telecom_WebEx
DOL Telecommuting All Staff Training 4/2/2020 2:30-3:30 040220#2_Telecom_WebEx

Staff should enroll in the online course “How to Work Remotely” through SLMS by searching for the course title and selecting “enroll.” This course should be completed as soon as possible.

Staff should complete a telecommuting application as soon as feasible and submit it to their supervisor. The application and all other telecommuting program documents can be found at the DOL Telecommuting SharePoint site. The supervisor will review, sign and submit the application to [email protected]. This application approval will be in effect during the implementation of the emergency program only. Note, the four-day limit for working remotely for PEF-represented employees is waived during this emergency period.

EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES after completing two-part training:

  • Continually monitor all forms of communication, including the DOL Employee Web Page on the DOL internet for updates and status during this emerging situation
  • Go to meetny.webex.com and save to internet favorites
  • Provide alternate contact information to supervisor (phone # and email)
  • Review instructions and videos on this site: https://its.ny.gov/working-remotely, including:
    • Request and utilize an RSA token
    • Follow instructions to successfully connect to Microsoft Office
  • Monitor @labor email communication throughout the workday
  • If possible, forward your work desk telephone to your work cell phone or home telephone following these instructions (also found in the Telecommuting SharePoint site).
  • Complete LATS entries (https://time07.lats.ny.gov/default.aspx?redirect=y) and submit LATS timesheet at the conclusion of each pay period
  • Be available during the workday for assignment of work duties as necessary
  • Seek supervisory guidance daily
  • Follow the telecommuting guidelines, including submitting a work plan to your supervisor, prior to your workday, on at least a weekly basis

SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Go to meetny.webex.com and save to favorites
  • Ensure staff connect to Microsoft Office
  • Provide tasks for staff to complete while working remotely
  • Staff who are unavailable to work while at home due to illness (other than COVID-related illnesses), appointments, or other reasons for unavailability, must charge their accruals

All employees are deemed non-essential unless notified otherwise by your supervisor. Your status as an essential or non-essential employee can change on a daily basis.

If you have a problem signing up for any of the training sessions, contact [email protected] For any other questions, contact [email protected].

Extension of vacation credits for employees represented by PEF and CSEA

Updated: March 24, 2020

Due to the State’s response to staffing needs resulting from the State’s response to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 situation, the PEF and CSEA contractual limits on vacation maximums are being extended. Employees represented by PEF and CSEA are eligible to carry vacation credits in excess of the 40-day maximum, which would otherwise be forfeited on April 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020.

Employees are eligible for the extension if they are engaged in the response efforts or unable to utilize vacation leave due to ongoing response efforts.

Any unused excess vacation credits as of the close of business on December 31, 2020 will be forfeited by employees. This doesn’t impact accruals earned after April 1, 2020, which will be subject to normal rules.

Questions should be directed to [email protected]

Submitting your LATS-NY Timesheet

Updated: March 18, 2020

Note: All employees will be paid regardless if their LATS-NY timesheet has been completed or not.

However, all employees must continue to enter their time and attendance through LATS-NY. Employees that are telecommuting are asked to complete their timesheet by navigating to the LATS-NY link https://time07.lats.ny.gov/default.aspx?redirect=y from your home computer or smart phone. If you are using this link, you will be prompted to log in with your network login credentials and RSA SecureID token. You will then be directed to LATS-NY.

If you do not have access to the web or an RSA token, you must get in touch with your supervisor so that they can request timekeeper access in order to enter your timesheet on your behalf. The supervisor should send an email to [email protected] to request timekeeper access. Once the supervisor has been set up as timekeeper and has entered the time in LATS-NY, the alternate supervisor must approve the timesheet.

Directions for employees to request a RSA Secure ID token can be found at: http://its.ny.gov/how-request-rsa-token.

Distribution of Paychecks dated 3/18/2020 and beyond

Updated: 3/17/2020

All paychecks (including both pay stubs and physical paper checks) dated 3/18/2020 and beyond will be mailed to the address on the paycheck until further notice.

Employees should verify their address on their pay check/pay stub is correct. If you need to update your address, please complete this form: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2019/01/personaldatachangeform.pdf and email it to [email protected].

Direct Deposit

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) encourages all employees paid through the New York State Payroll System to enroll in direct deposit. Enrolling in direct deposit will help ensure employees are able to safely access their payroll funds. An informational pamphlet is available on the OSC internet page at: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/payroll/files/dir_dep_broch.pdf.

To enroll in direct deposit, employees must complete the Direct Deposit Form for NYS Employees (AC-2772) and submit it to [email protected]. Note that it typically takes two pay periods for a direct deposit request to process and begin receiving direct deposit into the bank account identified.

Link to AC-2772: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/payroll/files/ac2772.pdf.

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