Summary of Covid-19 Employee Benefits

Sick Pay – In addition to any paid sick days you may have under your CBA, the new laws require the employer to provide the following paid sick days.

Federal Law Effective April 1, 2020, which only applies to Employers with less than 500 employees at the time the leave is sought

            If you are unable to work or telework because:

  1. You are subject to a Federal, State or Local quarantine or isolation order due to
    COVID-19; or
  2. You have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19; or
  3. You are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnoses,

You are entitled to up to 10 days of paid COVID-19 sick days at your regular daily salary up to a maximum of $511per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a two-week period).

            If you can’t work due to the following:

  1. You are caring for an individual who is either subject to an order described in (1) above or who has been advised as in (2) above, or
  2. You are caring for a child whose school or child care provider is closed due to COVID-19 precautions; or
  3. You are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Service,

            You are entitled to up to 10 paid sick days at 2/3 of your regular daily salary up to a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a two-week period).

New York State Law Effective March 18, 2020

            If you have received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or are otherwise subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation by the State Department of Health or other authorized governmental agency*, you are entitled to COVID-19 sick pay from your employer based on the total number of employees your employer had on January 1, 2020.

* If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are advised to be quarantined or isolated you MUST immediately apply to your Local Health Department to receive an Order of Mandatory or Precautionary Quarantine or Isolation.  To find your local health department go to https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/.  This order must be provided to continue receiving benefits and/or be entitled to additional benefits. 

  • 10 or less employees – 0 paid sick days unless company had $1Million of net income in the previous tax year, in which case 5 paid sick days
  • 11-99 employees – 5 paid sick days
  • 100 or more employees – 14 paid sick days

            After using the paid COVID-19 sick days, the employee can receive unpaid sick days or use any available non-COVID-19 paid sick days until the quarantine or isolation ends.

            Any benefits paid to an individual under Federal law will offset benefits otherwise due under New York State’s COVID law, but the employee will be entitled to receive the difference in benefits.

Family Leave (which can be taken upon exhausting COVID-19 sick days)

New York State Law Effective March 18, 2020

            The Paid Family Medical Leave Act was amended to add the following reasons to allow someone to receive Paid Family Leave related to COVID-19: 

  1. leave taken if the employee is subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation order issued by the State Department of Health or other governmental authority authorized to issue such a COVID-19 order*; or
  2. to provide care for a minor dependent who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued as in (1) above.

* If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are advised to be quarantined or isolated you MUST immediately apply to your Local Health Department to receive an Order of Mandatory or Precautionary Quarantine or Isolation.  To find your local health department go to https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/.  This order must be provided to continue receiving benefits and/or be entitled to additional benefits.

            The maximum benefit under New York State Paid Family Leave is 60% of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $840.70 for up to 10 weeks if either of the above conditions exist.  For Local 3 members covered by EESISP, application for this benefit must be made to EESISP. 

Federal Law Effective April 1, 2020, which only applies to Employers with less than 500 employees at the time the leave is sought

            The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which provided for unpaid leave under certain circumstances has been amended to provide paid leave for certain COVID-19 related events.  This benefit only applies if your employer has less than 500 employees and you have been employed for at least 30 calendar days by your employer.

            The new law applies if you need to take time off because you are unable to work (or telework) due to a need to care for your child who is under 18 years old and their school or child care provider is closed due to a public health emergency.

            The first 10 days of Family Leave under the Federal Law are unpaid, however, you may be eligible for paid sick days during those first 10 days.  After the 10 days of unpaid leave, you are entitled to receive not less than 2/3 of your regular pay from your employer for your normal hours not to exceed $200 per day up to a total of $10,000 for up to 10 weeks.

Disability

New York State Law effective March 18, 2020

            An employee is entitled to “Disability Payments” if he/she is unable to perform their regular duties of their employment or any other duties of their employment that their employer may offer him/her as a result of a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the Department of Health or other authorized governmental entity.  Disability benefits are payable on the first day of disability.  The Disability Benefit is your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount of $2,043.92 per week. 

            Eligible Disability Benefits can be paid at the same time you are receiving Family Leave benefits, however, the Disability benefit will be the difference between your average weekly benefit minus what you are receiving in Paid Family Leave, and subject to weekly maximum caps of $840.70 on Paid Family Leave and $2,043.92 on Disability.

            For Local 3 members covered by EESISP, Disability Benefits are paid by EESISP.

Unemployment Benefits

            If you are not eligible for any of the above benefits, you can be eligible for Unemployment Benefits.  The New York State unemployment benefit pays a percentage of your average weekly wage up to a maximum benefit of $504.  Under the Federal Law known as the CARES Act, effective April 1, 2020, you will be entitled to an additional $600 per week making the maximum unemployment benefit $1,104 per week.  This benefit is payable by making application to the New York State Unemployment Board.

            The Federal unemployment benefit has been increased from 26 weeks to 39 weeks.

            Eligibility for Sick Pay and Paid Family Leave under the Federal Law ends if you get laid off while receiving the above Federal benefits or before applying therefor.

Deferred Salary Plan (401k)

            The CARES Act, which goes into effect April 1, will allow you to have access to additional funds in your 401(k) plan for expenses directly related to COVID-19.

            Our Plan is being amended and Prudential is setting up the mechanism to allow participants to:

  1. Allow in-service withdrawals for “COVID-19” related withdrawals. The total aggregate withdrawals related to COVID-19 can be up to $100,000.  If you are under age 59½, the normal 10% early withdrawal penalty for COVID-19 withdrawals will not apply. 

The COVID-19 withdrawals are taxable income to you.  However, the tax liability can be spread over the next 3 years and, to the extent you redeposit the withdrawal within three years, the tax liability is erased.  Prudential will not be withholding the 20% federal tax on COVID-19 withdrawals.

  1. Loans:
    1. The limit on the total amount of outstanding loans has been increased from $50,000 to $100,000 and the loan can be up to 100% of your account balance.
    2. Upon a borrower’s request to Prudential, current existing loans may have their current payments suspended and have their amortization table extended 1 year.

  2. Required/Minimum Distributions:

Required Minimum Distributions that would have to be paid out for those who turned 70½ in or before 2020 are being waived for 2020.