Paid Work Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations—FAQs

New York State Passed a Law for Paid Time Off

New York employers must allow employees paid time off to receive COVID-19 vaccinations based on a recent New York law.

When did the law go into effect?

The new law went into effect on March 12, 2021. Employers must provide employees with up to four hours of paid leave for each injection. When the vaccination requires two injections, employers must provide a total of eight hours paid leave.

What guidelines must employers follow with the paid work leave for COVID-19 vaccinations?

The law establishes guidelines for employers to follow, which include:

  • Employees receive paid leave at their regular pay rates
  • Employers cannot count the leave against any other leave, such as a family medical leave, vacation or sick days.
  • A collective bargaining agreement may waive the requirements, as long as the agreement references the new law.

What if your employee received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the new law?

The law does not apply retroactively for employees who received their COVID-19 vaccination injections before March 12, 2021. However, nothing in the law prohibits employers from applying the law retroactively.

How long does the law last?

This new law will expire on December 31, 2021. However, during this time, employers should revise their policies on paid leave based on the new law.

Does the new law cover employees helping a family member or friend receiving vaccinations?

No. Employees assisting a friend or relative to receive the vaccine cannot count this time off as a paid COVID-19 vaccination leave for themselves.

Can you require employees to give advance notice of time off for vaccination?

As an employer, you have the right to ask employees to provide advance notice before taking the paid leave. The law does not specify how much notification should be required for the advance notice.

Can you require employees to show proof of vaccination?

You can require proof of vaccination, but if you do, you should consider confidentiality agreements regarding medical information, based on EEOC guidelines.

Do You Have Concerns About Vaccination Requirements or Leaves for Employees?

To avoid a legal dispute or litigation related to employee vaccination, discuss your concerns with Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C. Call (718) 275-6500.

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