The Coronavirus outbreak that was first detected in China, spread worldwide and has now landed squarely here in New York State. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19 and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in a growing number of countries internationally and the virus is now spreading in the United States.

Amidst growing calls for closing bars and restaurants in New York State, as has been done in several other states and cities, and given the federal Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) new guidance calling for no more than 50 people to be in a gathering Governor Cuomo has announced that restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only effective 8:00 pm on March 16th. These establishments will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption. The SLA will be issuing guidance for how you can do this shortly. We’ll post it as soon as it’s available in the News section of our website.

As a result of this crisis, it appears likely that the Assembly and Senate will pass and the Governor will sign legislation guaranteeing access to sick leave. The Governor’s proposal will require businesses with 4 or less employees to guarantee 5 unpaid sick days to their employees, businesses with 5 to 99 employees will be required to provide at least 5 paid sick days, and businesses with 100 or more employees will be required to provide at least 7 paid sick days. The bill is also expected to include a “coronavirus quarantine leave requirement” requiring paid days off anytime a health crisis requires quarantine or similar action. We’ll advise you of its provisions and your obligations as soon as we know more.

This is a rapidly changing situation so check our website frequently for updates.