As the orthopoxvirus / monkeypox virus (MPV) continues to spread in NYC, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) has released a set of guidelines regarding leave protocols to help ensure safety in the workplace. There are three situations in which an individual may not come to work:
They have had a positive MPV test result.
These individuals must isolate and may only return to work after receiving clearance from a doctor. After submitting a positive test result, they will be given two weeks of excused leave, starting from when they took the test and began isolation.
After these two weeks, the employee must submit another doctor’s note either clearing them to return to work or recommending further isolation. If further isolation is recommended, they may receive up to an additional two weeks of excused leave. If teleworking is possible, the employee may request to do so during these additional two weeks.
After four weeks, the employee must again provide a doctor’s note in order to return to work. If they are still advised to isolate, they may seek to use other forms of leave time, including leave balances or Family Medical Leave (FMLA), or they may seek a reasonable accommodation. No employee will be allowed more than four weeks of excused leave. If an employee runs out of sick leave, they may request to be advanced sick leave pending Agency head approval. The stipulation of permanent employee status or more than 10 years of service are not required until further notice.
They have symptoms of MVP but do not have a test result.
Employees with MVP symptoms should not return to work until they receive a negative test result. They will receive no more than one week of excused leave while isolating before receipt of the negative test result.
They have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for MVP, and are waiting on test results and have not developed symptoms.
These individuals may report to work and should monitor symptoms for 21 days. If they are caring for someone with a positive MPV diagnosis, they may be eligible for FMLA or Paid Family Leave.