New York State Paid Leave for COVID Vaccine
By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory
New York State employers will now be required to provide paid leave to employees who receive the COVID vaccine. The recently passed legislation, already signed into law by Governor Cuomo, takes effect immediately and ends December 31, 2022.
The new law requires all employers in New York State to provide their workers with a “sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours”, for each injection. Employees must be paid their regular rate of pay for the period of leave. Employees who need to obtain two separate doses, such as with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, will be entitled to up to four hours of leave for each injection.
It is important to note that this new leave entitlement is in addition to any other paid leave for which the employee is entitled, including leave under New York State and New York City paid sick leave laws.
The law also prohibits employers from discriminating against or retaliating against any employee who takes or requests leave for purposes of getting a COVID vaccine, or otherwise exercises his or her rights under this law. The requirements of the new law can only be waived by a collective bargaining agreement which specifically references the new law.
Employers in New York State should take steps to ensure they comply with these requirements.