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New York Paid COVID-19 Vaccination Leave Updates

On March 12, 2021 NY’s Governor Cuomo signed a law that entitled New York employees up to four hours of paid leave per COVID-19 vaccine dose. The law took effect immediately and the leave entitlement is set to expire on December 31, 2022.

The new law provided four hours of paid vaccination leave per dose. All NY employers are required to provide a paid leave of absence to employees for “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours per vaccine injection” to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. For employees who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, this law requires employers to grant up to eight hours of leave for the vaccination (four hours per dose). For those receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, the employee would only be entitled to one four-hour leave period.

In early November the New York Department of Labor revised its guidance to confirm that, even though the CDC has not yet incorporated booster shots into its definition of “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, paid COVID-19 vaccination leave “applies to any COVID-19 vaccination received by an employee, including booster shots.”

New York employers should immediately update any COVID-related paid sick leave policies to reflect this change.


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