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District 11

Andrew Cohen

Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Norwood, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield, Woodlawn


The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has released guidance for employees and employers about their rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 crisis. You can find information about specific City, State and Federal requirements/eligibility regarding paid sick leave and benefits here

New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, now get guaranteed job protection and pay. Learn more about New York State Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave.

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Learn more about the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act from the U.S. Department of Labor.


Due to the impact of COVID-19 on New York City’s workforce, the City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The list will be updated frequently.

NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. The State Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a new application system for New Yorkers to apply for unemployment benefits. This new system will connect New Yorkers with the benefits they need faster, and without having to call the Department of Labor. New Yorkers can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) without having to apply for traditional unemployment insurance first. Applicants will now fill out one application to determine which unemployment program — traditional UI or PUA — you should apply for, and will then be prompted to answer a specific set of program questions.


Here is a step by step process to file a claim online. If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed. Once individuals are signed up, benefits will be applied retroactively to the date that they lost their job.

To file by phone, call 1-888-209-8124. The NYS Department of Labor is extending telephone filing hours as follows:

Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.

Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Saturday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history & others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency. If you qualify for PUA, your benefit rate will be based on
your recent earnings. You will also receive an additional
$600 per week until 7/31/2020. If you have questions about whether you qualify for PUA, click here for an updated factsheet.  

If you are self-employed, you may now file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online. See the Guidance for Self-Employed Individuals.


If DOL needs more information to complete your claim, they will call you. You should respond to any questionnaires, messages, or phone calls from DOL as quickly as possible. Failure to do so will delay your claim or result in the denial or suspension of your benefits. PLEASE NOTE: Like many New Yorkers, Department of Labor (DOL) representatives are working from home, so your caller ID may show “PRIVATE CALLER.” Anyone calling from DOL will verify their identity by providing: (a) the date you filed your application; & (b) the type of claim. 


Once you have filed a claim for benefits, you must also claim weekly benefits for each week you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements. This is also called “certifying for benefits.” You can start claiming as soon as you submit your application, and every week following, even as you wait for confirmation that you have been approved. Go to During this process, you are confirming that you were unemployed for all or part of the past week and that you met all other conditions of receiving benefits.

Each week you are claiming benefits you will be asked if you are ready, willing, and able to work, and have been actively looking for work. It is understood that many are unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and New York State on PAUSE. If you would otherwise be able to work, you should answer ‘YES’ in order to receive your benefits.


The city’s Workforce1 Career Center launched a Virtual Center (or call 718-960-2458) to help New Yorkers prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City’s five boroughs and in every sector of the economy. The in-person Workforce Career Centers in the Bronx (Fordham Rd), West Farms, and Hunts Point are currently closed. Current employment opportunities include Stop & Shop, Fresh Direct & PBM Guardian Industry Services.