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Department of Labor

Complaints Related to COVID-19 Regulations

Governor Cuomo has enacted various measures to protect workers during the COVID-19 global pandemic. All of New York State has entered a phase of ReOpen NY based on region and industry. If you work for a business that is not currently permitted to operate in New York State, you may not be forced to go to the worksite. Your employer must take various safety and health precautions if you are returning to the worksite, including providing you with a face covering, ensuring that social distancing is being followed, making hand washing and sanitizing stations available, and making sure that cleaning and disinfection are occurring frequently. Your employer should make operational adjustments such as creating policies which encourage employees to work from home when feasible and staggering shifts to reduce workplace density. Your employer may not threaten or retaliate against you for complaining that the business should not be operating or has failed to take adequate safety and health measures.

The Governor has also enacted a law that provides benefits - including sick leave, paid family leave, and disability benefits - to New York employees impacted by mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. See more information under Resources below.

All businesses must follow appropriate safety and health guidance.

You may file a complaint for any of the following reasons:

  • You are being forced to work at a business that is not allowed to operate
  • You are being forced to work for a business that is allowed to operate, however:
    • Your employer is not taking proper safety and health precautions (see above)
    • You have particular concerns because you or a family member are part of a vulnerable population (i.e. underlying health conditions or over 70)
  • Your employer has failed to pay you wages owed for hours worked, earned sick pay or paid time off
  • Your employer has threatened or fired you for reasons related to COVID-19
  • You qualify for COVID-19 paid sick leave and your employer refuses to pay it
  • Your employer is forcing you to work when you are sick

Important: Please review the guidance from Empire State Development and the ReOpen NY Website before submitting a complaint.
File a Complaint

Additional Information and Resources

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Fact Sheet - Information for Employees:
English | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian-Creole | Korean | Nepali | Polish | Russian

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Fact Sheet - Information for Employers:
English | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian-Creole | Korean | Nepali | Polish | Russian

Paid Family Leave or Disability Benefits related to COVID-19

Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 Impacted New Yorkers

Other Leaves of Absence for Health Conditions: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights

Frequently Asked Questions about Wages and Hours.

Labor Laws Regarding Fringe Benefit Payments:
Section 198c of the New York State Labor Law, Benefits or Wage Supplements
Notice Requirements for Fringe Benefits and Hours

Information about Unemployment Insurance

Information and guidance from the NYS Department of Health about cleaning, disinfecting, and more.

Discrimination and Retaliation related to Your Human Rights:
For complaints regarding workplace discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or other protected category, you can contact the NYS Division of Human Rights, the NYC Commission on Human Rights (for workplaces in NYC), or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Continuation of Health Insurance:
For coverage issues associated with an employer with 20 or more employees, contact the U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration. For an employer with less than 20 employees, contact the NYS Department of Financial Services.

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