This year the New York State legislature voted to provide up to $3000 bonuses to New York health care workers. Eligible [“qualifying”] workers are front line health care and mental hygiene practitioners, technicians, assistants and aides who make $125,000 or less annually. They must work for a qualified employer, e.g., a provider, facility, pharmacy, or school health center licensed under the New York State Public Health Law. The bonuses are W-2 wages for federal tax purposes, but they will not be taxed by the state.
If you are a qualifying health care worker, you can get a bonus if you work the requisite number of hours during designated six month periods between October 2021 and May 2024. Bonus amounts range from $500 to a maximum of $3,000 depending on how many hours you worked. You can only get a bonus for two 6-month time periods per employer, and you max out at $3,000.
Qualifying employers are required to claim the bonuses on behalf of their workers. The employer will require you to sign an attestation of eligibility. Once the employer has the money, they have 30 days to pay you. They are not allowed to use the bonus to offset your regular wages.
See the New York State Department of Health’s guidance for more detailed information on these bonuses. If you are a qualifying employee and you have questions or concerns about how your boss is handling the bonuses, speak to your union immediately! And if you’re not unionized, contact the nearest reputable worker’s rights lawyer.