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New York Employees Now Entitled to Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination

March 18, 2021

New law provides up to four hours of paid leave for vaccination: On March 12, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation entitling New York employees to up to four hours of paid leave to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, effective immediately.

Under New York Labor Law Section 196-c, private employers are now required to provide “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours per vaccine injection” for employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, unless the employer or any applicable collective bargaining agreement provides for more paid leave. Employees receive their regular rate of compensation for vaccination leave, and that leave cannot be deducted from any sick leave the employee is otherwise entitled to receive (including, as we have covered in previous alerts, New York’s COVID-19 sick leave provisions and New York’s recently enacted statewide sick leave law). While the new vaccination leave law appears to apply uniformly across all private employers, it does provide that the paid leave entitlement can be waived under a collective bargaining agreement.

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