From time to time, Keane & Beane, P.C., issues Legal Alerts pertaining to developing legal issues of interest to our clients. On March 12, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation providing paid leave to employees for the purpose of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. The text of the new legislation can be found here.
The new legislation amends both New York State Civil Service Law Section 159-c and New York State Labor Law Section 196-c, requiring both public and private employers to provide up to four (4) hours of paid leave, per vaccine injection, to employees for the purpose of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. The four (4) hours of paid leave cannot be charged to any of the employees’ existing leave time accruals. Notably, the legislation further provides: (a) that employers can provide employees more than four (4) hours of paid leave time per vaccine injection pursuant to the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement or as otherwise authorized by the employers; (b) that, with respect to public employers, nothing in the law will be deemed to impede, infringe, diminish or impair the rights of a public employee or employer under any law, rule, regulation or collectively negotiated agreement; and (c) that, with respect to private employers, the provisions of the law can be waived pursuant to the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement provided that, for such waiver to be valid, it must explicitly reference New York State Labor Law Section 196-c.
The legislation is effective immediately and expires on December 31, 2022. For employees who have already received their COVID-19 vaccinations, the law does not provide that it has any retroactive effect.
Consult Counsel Regarding Specific Questions If you have any questions or concerns regarding the legislation, this Legal Alert or require further assistance with this topic, please contact one of our Education Law or Labor Relations & Employment Law Attorneys.