On Monday, March 15, Governor Cuomo signed a law making New York employees in both the private and public sectors eligible for four hours of paid leave to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Employers must provide the leave per vaccination, meaning that if an employee is receiving a two-dose vaccine, the employee will receive up to eight hours total of paid leave.
The law stipulates that some employees may ultimately be eligible for more leave time, subject to the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement that provides more for the employee.
The law does not indicate whether employees who have already received the vaccine and used other forms of leave will be reimbursed. It also does not indicate whether employers ought to require documentation from employees proving that the leave was taken to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dosage.
Leave is provided at an employee’s regular pay rate. This leave cannot be deducted from an employee’s sick leave, vacation, or other paid time off policy.
The intent of the law is to make vaccination as accessible as possible for New Yorkers, in the hopes of preventing disease and easing COVID-19 related restrictions on employers. The law is effective, as of now, until December 31, 2022. We will advise on further developments related to this law.