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Employers in New York State Must Provide Paid Time Off to Employees for the COVID-19 Vaccine

March 22, 2021

Effective March 12, 2021, both public and private sector employers in New York State are required to provide Paid Time Off (“PTO”) for their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The law, which was amended through the New York Senate Bill S2588A, explicitly states every employee getting vaccinated shall be provided with a “sufficient period of time [off],” but no more than four hours per injection. The leave must be provided at the employee’s current regular pay rate, and it cannot be taken away from any time off that an employee already has, such as vacation leave, or sick leave. In other words, the PTO employers must provide to employees to receive their COVID-19 vaccination must be in addition to all other time off they currently have. Additionally, there is a provision that protects employees from retaliation.

Employees are required to give at least a minimal amount of advance notice of their need to use the time. Employees giving same day notice is to be expected and not prohibited. 

Employers should be prepared to provide up to eight hours of PTO for a two-shot vaccine for each employee. Employers should also communicate this new policy to their employees and ensure that any individuals in a management position are aware of the law’s non-retaliation provision. The law expires on December 31st, 2022. While employers are not required by law to tell employees that this benefit exists, it is in good practice to do so. 

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or at 203.454.0560.