Below is critical information for Department of Labor employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be sure to check this page 30 minutes prior to the start of your work day and again during your work day.
Update For Employees Enrolled in Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA)
The grace period for the 2020 Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA) plan year has been extended through September 15, 2021. Employees can now submit claims for expenses incurred between January 1, 2020 - September 15, 2021 for reimbursement from their 2020 DCAA. The last day to submit DCAA claims is September 30, 2021 for expenses incurred through September 15, 2021. The grace period will temporarily expand the ability for certain employees to utilize any unused amounts in their 2020 DCAA that would normally be forfeited at the end of a plan year.
Additionally, employees can seek reimbursement for children who turned 13 during the 2020 plan year from their 2020 DCAA.
The grace period is applicable for the DCAA only, as long as the employee had a DCAA as of December 31, 2020.
If you had a remaining 2020 DCAA balance, you will or should have already received a notice directly from the DCAA.
Please email [email protected] or call WageWorks/Health Equity at 1-800-358-7202 with any questions about the grace period.
Update Regarding COVID-19 Health Precautions and Telecommuting
Consistent with former Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement that COVID-19 restrictions were lifted for most commercial and social settings as 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series, and recently released Governor’s office of Employee Relations (GOER) guidance, DOL is providing staff with an update.
- Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings; however, they may choose to do so.
- Any time an unvaccinated employee must come within six (6) feet or less of another person, they must wear acceptable face coverings which cover the nose and mouth, if an appropriate physical barrier is not present (e.g. plexi-glass, partition, etc).
- Unvaccinated employees must be prepared to wear an acceptable face covering if another person unexpectedly comes within six (6) feet or less.
- Staff should continue to clean and disinfect shared objects before and after use (e.g. touched surfaces of shared materials, vehicles, and touchscreens). Employees should also wipe down their own workspace regularly.
- Daily Health Screenings are no longer required. However, employees are not to report sick and should contact the DOL Office of Employee Relations at 518-457-6651 or [email protected] for any COVID-19-related symptoms or absence.
- By July 2, 2021, the statewide emergency telecommuting program will expire.
- DOL anticipates a continuation, in some form, of an Agency Telecommuting Program after July 2, 2021.
- DOL will plan for a return to normal operations by no later than September 7, 2021.
We will be reviewing the GOER guidance further and will issue further instructions and updates in the coming days and weeks.
Phishing Attempts on Rise - Protect Yourself
Updated: May 28, 2021
Please be aware that the NYS Cyber Command Center has seen an increase in reported phishing attempts through various communication channels, including email, online postings, text (SMiShing) or phone (vishing).
Malicious actors, masquerading as legitimate NYS and federal government and contracted entities, use these messages to collect personal information from victims and often include logos and other materials taken from legitimate government or vendor-related websites.
Recent examples include voicemail, text messages and emails asking recipients to update their username and password for various accounts, directing recipients to click a link to access files or information related to their jobs or to current events, or to access fax transmissions purporting to be shared by NYS employees or other known partners.
Many of these messages appear at first to be legitimate from Microsoft or Agency Support, but they often include warning banners, misspellings, or other red flags that should alert users to be cautious.
What to look for:
Remember that if a message is unexpected or just does not feel right, there is a good chance it could be a phishing attempt. We encourage you to remain vigilant and adopt the following best practices to protect our network and your agency's sensitive data:
- Pay special attention to email messages that include an orange and yellow warning banner at the top. If this banner is present, it indicates that the email came from an external source even if it claims to be from someone within a state agency. Email from NYS agencies within our O365 environment will not include this banner.
- Inspect the sender’s information to confirm the message was generated from a legitimate source by ensuring that the email address in parenthesis on the "From" line is consistent with the displayed "From" address.
- Use your mouse to hover over links in email messages to confirm that the URL matches that of a legitimate site before clicking. Do NOT click on any links from an unknown sender or unexpected email, and be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from unknown individuals claiming to be from a legitimate organization.
For more information on phishing scams, visit the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Cyber Security resources page at: https://its.ny.gov/resources – (click the "Phishing Awareness" tab). You can also visit the following website from CISA: Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks - https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014.
If you are in receipt of a phishing email/text/voicemail, simply delete it and no further action is necessary. If you have inadvertently clicked on a link or opened an email attachment that seems malicious, please contact the NYS Cyber Command Center at [email protected] or (518) 242-5045. If you have provided any personal information, such as a Social Security number or banking information, we encourage you to report the incident to your local police department. In addition, you can visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/Info-Lost-or-Stolen for tips on what steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.
Interim Update Regarding COVID-19 Precautions
Updated: May 18, 2021
Effective May 19, 2021, pandemic restrictions are set to ease across New York State in a variety of settings, based on the adoption of CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
DOL anticipates further guidance on implementation and applicability of these changes in DOL and other state agency workplaces.
Until further notice, all employees, regardless of vaccination status, MUST continue to take preventative measures, including maintaining social distancing of six feet where feasible, and wearing an acceptable face covering in common areas and situations where six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
Employees should also not report to work if sick/ill, and they should continue to complete the daily health screening at screening.ny.gov on days they are scheduled to report to a physical DOL location or work in the field.
A further update will be provided as more information becomes available.
Questions regarding this update should be addressed to the DOL Office of Employee Relations at [email protected].
Working Remotely Quick Guide
All Employee Responsibilities:
Continually monitor all forms of DOL communication
- Provide alternate contact information to supervisor (phone # and email)
- Reference instructions and videos on this site: https://its.ny.gov/working-remotely, including:
- Request and utilize an RSA token
- Fill out if not already completed https://password.ny.gov/PMUser/
- Connect to 0365 Microsoft Office online
- Connect to MS Teams
- Monitor Outlook email and MS Teams communication throughout the workday
- Whenever working remotely, forward your work desk telephone to your work cell phone or home telephone following these instructions.
- Complete LATS entries (https://time07.lats.ny.gov/default.aspx?redirect=y) and submit LATS timesheet after each pay period
- Follow the telecommuting guidelines, including submitting a work plan to your supervisor, before your workday, on at least a weekly basis
- Ensure staff are connected to 0365 Microsoft Office online
- Ensure staff are connected to MS Teams
- Provide tasks for staff to complete while working remotely
- Staff who are unavailable to work while at home due to illness (other than COVID-related illnesses), appointments, or other reasons for unavailability, must charge their accruals
Your status as an essential or non-essential employee can change daily. Please be prepared to return to your DOL workstation.
Paid Family Leave
Updated: December 30, 2020
- Bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child,
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition, or
- Assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is deployed abroad on active military service.
It also provides the following protections:
- Job protection
- Continued health insurance
- Protectionfrom discrimination or retaliation
Beginning with the January 6, 2021 paycheck, the 2021 premium rate and the maximum weekly contribution for coverage will be increased to 0.511% (0.00511) of an employee’s weekly wage. The maximum employee premium deduction for Paid Family Leave will be $385.34 per year.
For any questions regarding PFL, please contact Personnel at [email protected]
Voluntary Reduction Work Schedule (VRWS)
Updated: March 26, 2021
The New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER) has extended the expiration date of Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule (VRWS) Credits earned during fiscal year 2019-2020, from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021. As of close of business September 30, 2021, any unused VRWS credits earned during fiscal year 2019-2020, will be forfeited and no longer available for use.
This extension applies to all bargaining units with a VRWS program specifying a September 30 deadline for liquidation of VRWS Credits. This extension does not apply to VRWS Credits earned on or after April 1, 2020.
To comply with NYS Executive Order No. 202.17 and NYS Department of Health guidelines, individuals who can medically tolerate a face covering are required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
Situations where a mask or face covering should be used in your workplace include, but are not limited to:
- entering and exiting the building,
- in elevators,
- in populated common areas, and
- other settings where you must interact with others and cannot maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
Staff may use personally owned masks or face coverings. The Department of Labor will provide a mask for staff who do not have one.
Your appropriate adherence to this direction is critical to supporting the health and safety of yourself and others.
If you have questions regarding this direction, please contact the DOL Office of Employee Relations at [email protected] or 518-457-6651.
Overtime Related to COVID-19
Updated: May 1, 2020
The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations recently provided clarification to State Agencies regarding the calculation of overtime related to COVID-19 as follows:
There have been questions about the calculation of overtime in extra service and out of title work assignments related to COVID-19, the following information is provided to inform you about how the State is calculating this overtime.
Any extra service or out of title overtime earned in a position allocated to a salary grade other than your regular position, including work in DOL and DOH call centers or any other aspect of COVID-19 response, shall be computed in accordance with Budget Bulletin G-1024, for overtime eligible employees, and Budget Bulletin H-0501, for overtime ineligible employees in salary grades 23 through 27/M2.
Under Budget Bulletin G-1024 for overtime eligible employees, when the out-of-title or extra service is worked in an overtime eligible position which is allocated to a higher or lower salary grade than the employee’s regular overtime eligible position, the employee will be paid at an overtime rate which is based on the average regular hourly rate for the two positions or, with the employee’s advance agreement, the actual regular hourly rate of the position for which the type of work is performed plus any longevities. When computing the average regular hourly rate in a lower graded position, the calculation shall include the maximum salary of the lower graded position plus longevity increments, if applicable. When computing the average hourly rate in a higher graded position, the calculation shall include the rate of compensation the employee would otherwise be entitled if permanently promoted to the higher position.
Under Budget Bulletin H-0501, which covers emergency overtime for employees in salary grades 23-27/M2, if the extra service position is allocated to a salary grade lower than the employee’s regular position, the overtime calculation shall be based on the maximum salary of the lower grade position plus longevity increments in such lower grade position. If the extra service position is allocated to a higher salary grade than the employee’s regular position, the overtime calculation shall be based on the rate of compensation the employee would be entitled if permanently promoted to the higher position. Please note that Budget Bulletin H-0501 requires that overtime payment to employees in salary grades 23 through 27/M-2 can only be made for hours of work directly attributable to COVID-19 preparedness and response.
Filing for Retirement
The unfortunate reality of the current COVID-19 emergency is that some New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) members may become seriously, or even fatally, ill. At a time like this, it is vitally important members understand how to apply for retirement, if they need to take that step. Here is some guidance:
NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from the COVID-19 virus may wish to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to their beneficiary if they were to die, rather than the one-time, in-service death benefit.
Members, or their employer on their behalf, need to file the disability retirement application that is appropriate for his or her retirement plan. Select “Find Your Application” on the NYSLRS website to help you find the right application (scroll down on the web page). Additionally, the member, or the member’s spouse, should file a pension payment option election form to identify a beneficiary to receive the continuing benefit. An option election form cannot be filed by the employer.
Application and option election forms can be emailed directly to NYSLRS’ Disability Processing Unit.
Eligible members may also file for a service retirement. Please see the NYSLRS website for more detailed information.
Submitting Your Timesheet
Updated: March 18, 2020
Note: All employees will be paid regardless if their LATS-NY timesheet has been completed or not.
However, all employees must continue to enter their time and attendance through LATS-NY. Employees that are telecommuting are asked to complete their timesheet by navigating to the LATS-NY link https://time07.lats.ny.gov/default.aspx?redirect=y from your home computer or smart phone. If you are using this link, you will be prompted to log in with your network login credentials and RSA SecureID token. You will then be directed to LATS-NY.
If you do not have access to the web or an RSA token, you must get in touch with your supervisor so that they can request timekeeper access in order to enter your timesheet on your behalf. The supervisor should send an email to [email protected] to request timekeeper access. Once the supervisor has been set up as timekeeper and has entered the time in LATS-NY, the alternate supervisor must approve the timesheet.
Directions for employees to request a RSA Secure ID token can be found at: http://its.ny.gov/how-request-rsa-token.
Distribution of Paychecks
All paychecks (including both pay stubs and physical paper checks) dated 3/18/2020 and beyond will be mailed to the address on the paycheck until further notice.
Employees should verify their address on their pay check/pay stub is correct. If you need to update your address, please complete this form: https://bsc.ogs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/02/personal_data_change_form.pdf and email it to [email protected].
The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) encourages all employees paid through the New York State Payroll System to enroll in direct deposit. Enrolling in direct deposit will help ensure employees are able to safely access their payroll funds. An informational pamphlet is available on the OSC internet page at: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/payroll/files/dir_dep_broch.pdf.
To enroll in direct deposit, employees must complete the Direct Deposit Form for NYS Employees (AC-2772) and submit it to [email protected]. Note that it typically takes two pay periods for a direct deposit request to process and begin receiving direct deposit into the bank account identified.
Link to AC-2772: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/payroll/files/ac2772.pdf.
Compensatory Time Extension
GOER has advised that all compensatory time off earned, on a straight-time basis for time worked in excess of 37.5 hours but not in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, which would regularly expire as of March 31, 2021, has been extended to December 31, 2021, close of business. Any unused credits as of January 1, 2022, will be forfeited.
If you have any questions, please contact the Business Service Center at (518) 457-4272 or [email protected].
Juneteenth 2020 holiday accruals
Updated: April 26, 2021
In June of 2020, the Juneteenth holiday was announced, and all essential employees who worked on June 19th received accruals for time worked credited on their timesheets. This is a friendly reminder that if you earned accruals as a result of this holiday, it must be used by June 18, 2021, COB, or the time will be forfeited. Any details regarding the Juneteenth holiday for 2021 will be provided once they are available. Please note that all employees should always pay close attention to notifications on timesheets regarding accrual balances that will expire. If you have any questions, please contact the Business Service Center at [email protected] or (518) 457-4272.