On March 12, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed a bill providing both private and public employees with paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (“Vaccine Leave Laws”).
Effectively immediately, employees are entitled to up to four (4) hours of paid time off to get vaccinated (“Vaccine Leave”) per vaccine appointment. As such, employees who receive a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) are entitled to four (4) hours of paid leave on two (2) separate occasions.
Vaccine Leave is in addition to any other sick time or other paid time off otherwise available to employees. Accordingly, time off for Vaccine Leave may not be charged against an employee’s leave entitlement under the New York State Paid Sick Leave Law, the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, or the New York State COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave law, or any other employer-provided paid time off.
The requirements of the Vaccine Leave Laws may be waived by collective bargaining agreements that provide the same or a greater benefit and that explicitly cite the law.
Lastly, employers may not discriminate or retaliate against any employee who requests or uses Vaccine Leave.
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If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact our Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Leader Amanda M. Fugazy (email@example.com) or the primary EGS attorney with whom you work.