Bill Text: NY S08246 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Permits unemployment benefits in the case of voluntary separation from employment during the COVID-19 emergency for persons over age 65 or persons with health conditions which make them at risk where the claimant has a reasonable belief that their working environment is unsafe.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-05-24 - PRINT NUMBER 8246A [S08246 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S08246-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         8246--A

                    IN SENATE

                                     April 27, 2020
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by Sens. GOUNARDES, BIAGGI, GAUGHRAN, HOYLMAN, KENNEDY, LIU,
          MAY, MAYER, METZGER, RIVERA -- read twice  and  ordered  printed,  and
          when  printed  to  be committed to the Committee on Labor -- committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation  to  permitting  unemployment
          benefits  in  the case of certain voluntary separation from employment
          during the COVID-19 emergency; and providing for the  repeal  of  such
          provisions upon the expiration thereof

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 593 of the labor law is amended by
     2  adding two new paragraphs (d) and (e) to read as follows:
     3    (d) (i) A claimant shall not be disqualified from  receiving  benefits
     4  for  separation from employment where the claimant has voluntarily sepa-
     5  rated from employment due to the reasonable belief that his or her  work
     6  conditions  are  unsafe  based  on the claimant's reasonable belief that
     7  such conditions are inconsistent with laws, rules, protocols,  policies,
     8  orders,  or guidance of any federal, state, or local governmental agency
     9  intended to keep his or  her  work  environment  safe  for  workers  and
    10  consumers from potential exposure to or infection from the novel corona-
    11  virus of 2019.
    12    (ii)  In  determining  whether the claimant reasonably believed his or
    13  her work conditions were unsafe, the  department  shall  review  factors
    14  including  but  not  limited  to  (1) whether the claimant is sixty-five
    15  years of age or older; (2) whether the claimant has an underlying health
    16  condition that puts such claimant especially at-risk for severe  illness
    17  from  COVID-19  including,  but  not limited to chronic pulmonary, lung,
    18  liver, or kidney disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, diabetes,  hemoglo-
    19  bin disorders, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, or the claimant
    20  is  immunocompromised;  (3)  whether  such  claimant lives with a family
    21  member who is sixty-five years of age or older or who has an  underlying
    22  condition that puts them at-risk for severe illness due to COVID-19; and
    23  (4)  whether  employment under such conditions would result in potential

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD16179-03-0

        S. 8246--A                          2

     1  exposure to COVID-19 of workers or consumers, including but not  limited
     2  to  improper  adherence  to  or  lack of protocols or policies regarding
     3  social distancing or whether or not personal  protective  equipment  has
     4  been or will be provided.
     5    (e)  A  claimant  who  loses employment because they did not report to
     6  work or left work before the end of their scheduled shift or refused  to
     7  perform  an  assigned  task due to the reasonable belief that the claim-
     8  ant's work conditions are unsafe based on a reasonable belief that  such
     9  conditions  are  inconsistent  with  laws,  rules,  protocols, policies,
    10  orders, or guidance of any federal, state, or local governmental  agency
    11  intended  to  keep  his  or  her  work  environment safe for workers and
    12  consumers from potential exposure to or infection from the novel corona-
    13  virus of 2019 shall be deemed to have voluntarily separated from employ-
    14  ment pursuant to paragraph (d) of this subdivision.
    15    § 2. Paragraph (e) of subdivision 2 of section 593 of the  labor  law,
    16  as amended by chapter 35 of the laws of 2009, is amended and a new para-
    17  graph (f) is added to read as follows:
    18    (e)  the claimant is seeking part-time work as provided in subdivision
    19  five of section five hundred ninety-six of this title and the  offer  of
    20  employment  is not comparable to his or her part-time work as defined in
    21  such subdivision[.]; or
    22    (f) the offer is to work under conditions  that  the  claimant  has  a
    23  reasonable  belief  are unsafe based on the claimant's reasonable belief
    24  that such conditions are inconsistent with laws, rules, protocols, poli-
    25  cies, orders or guidance of any governmental agency on suitable  working
    26  conditions  intended  to  keep the work environment safe for workers and
    27  consumers from potential exposure to or infection from the novel corona-
    28  virus of 2019.
    29    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall  expire  and  be
    30  deemed repealed one year after such effective date.
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