On March 13, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (Labor Law § 196-c and Civil Service Law § 159-c) impacting all employers in New York. The new law allows public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

This new law grants employees up to four hours of excused leave per injection. The leave for the COVID-19 vaccine can’t be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued – including New York’s Paid Sick Leave which became available January 1st. According to Labor Law § 196-c, this leave is required unless the employee’s entitled to a “greater number of hours [to be vaccinated for COVID-19] pursuant to a collectively bargained agreement or as otherwise authorized by the employer.”

This law is effective immediately, so employers need to be aware and to modify their policies and practices. The law expires on December 31, 2022.

If you have questions on New York employment legislation and requirements, reach out to a member of our team. We’d be happy to help guide you through the issues facing your business. Remember, we’re running businesses too, and we’re here for you.