New York Employees Granted Paid Leave Per Covid-19 Injection
What Amount of Leave Are Employees Entitled To?
With vaccine eligibility expanding exponentially, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (S.2588-A/A.3354-B) granting public and private employees paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The new law, which went into effect immediately upon signing on March 12, 2021, requires employees to be provided up to four (4) hours of paid leave per injection.
As such, employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer that requires two (2) injections, will be entitled to take up to eight (8) hours of paid leave. This leave cannot be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued.
Who Is Covered For Paid Leave?
The new law prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees who take vaccination leave or request to take time off to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The new law also provides that:
- The law applies to all private employers regardless of size;
- Employees must be paid at their regular rate of pay; and
- The requirements under this law may be waived by a collective bargaining agreement or if the employer provides a more generous leave for vaccination purposes.
When Does The Law Expire?
This new law is currently set to expire on December 31, 2022. It should be noted that the law is silent as to whether it retroactively applies to employees who took paid leave to get a COVID-19 vaccine prior to March 12, 2021, and what, if any, documentation an employer can request of employees to verify their authorized use of vaccination leave.
What You Can Do, How We Can Help.
As a result of this legislation, New York employers should review and update their policies to reflect this additional leave entitlement. Santomassimo Davis LLP specializes in being the premier Outside General Counsel™ to mid-cap businesses. For help with these issues or to learn more about the Outside General Counsel™ solution, contact us today.