Employers Required to Provide Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccine Shots

Tip of the Month - Employment and Labor Law

On March 12, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law immediately-effective legislation requiring New York employers to provide employees with paid leave “for a sufficient period of time” to receive COVID-19 vaccine injections (“Vaccine Leave”). While the term “sufficient period of time” is not defined by the law, employers may cap Vaccine Leave at four hours per vaccine injection. Notably, Vaccine Leave may not be charged against any other leave time to which an employee is already entitled, e.g., an employee’s existing paid sick or vacation leave time. Employers may, however, require advance notice or proof of vaccination from employees seeking to take Vaccine Leave. New York employers must promptly update their leave policies and practices to account for this newly-enacted requirement, and should take steps to remedy any violations that may have occurred since the law’s March 12, 2021 effective date.

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