This law is plainly designed to encourage employees to be vaccinated with no negative impact on their leave benefits.
On March 12, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Senate Bill 2588A. This vaccine leave law, effective immediately, amends the New York Labor Law to grant employees job-protected paid leave to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Under the law, employers must provide paid leave for “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours” per vaccine injection. The leave must be at an employee’s regular rate of pay and must be provided in addition to any other leave employees are otherwise entitled to. In other words, this leave cannot be counted against employer-provided personal, vacation or other paid time off, or against sick and local sick leave entitlements. This law is plainly designed to encourage employees to be vaccinated with no negative impact on their leave benefits. The law applies to all employers, regardless of size or industry.
Employees may receive more than four hours of paid leave pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement or if their employer otherwise permits a longer leave period. Employees may waive their right to paid leave for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine through a collective bargaining agreement, but such agreement must explicitly reference the law’s New York Labor Law provisions. The law expires on December 31, 2022.
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Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help employers plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.
For More Information
If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Eve I. Klein, any of the attorneys in our Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, any member of the COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.
Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.