New York State has added a year to its vaccination paid leave law.
Initially set to expire at the end of 2022, it has now been extended to Dec. 31, 2023, under the legislation.
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New York State Vaccination Paid Leave Law
New York lawmakers in the spring of 2021 passed the law, which requires employers to provide workers with up to four hours of paid leave per vaccine shot.
While about 78 percent of the population of New York is fully vaccinated, the law also covers booster shots, which could continue to impact employers even as COVID-19 hasn’t maintained its grip on news headlines.
State officials shortly after the law was passed released a set of FAQs outlining the regulations and employer obligations:
- It does not apply if an employee receives a greater number of hours through a collectively bargained agreement or as otherwise authorized by the employer to be vaccinated for COVID-19
- Employees must receive their regular rate of pay
- Employers cannot take adverse action against workers who use the paid leave
- Workers cannot use the leave to assist others in getting the vaccine
- Employers may not substitute other paid leave for the vaccine paid leave
- Employers may require notice from employees before taking paid leave
The vaccination paid leave does not count against any other leave employees are otherwise entitled to, including the New York paid sick leave law, which allows workers up to 56 hours of paid sick leave a year (for large employers) at an accrual rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.
Though many employers may have the bulk of their workforce fully vaccinated, they should keep an eye out for additional news and announcements from federal officials that may impact employee need for vaccinations.
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COVID-19 Laws and Paid Leave
More than two years since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, it continues to reverberate in the world of employment law.
A handful of COVID-19 paid leave laws are still around, including California (through Sept. 30, 2022) and Washington, D.C. (through Oct. 1, 2022). Philadelphia in March 2022 passed a COVID-19 paid leave ordinance, which is in effect through Dec. 31, 2023.
Meanwhile, jurisdictions have taken steps to ensure paid leave in the event of a future public health emergency.
Most recently, voters in San Francisco approved an emergency paid leave law, which goes into effect Oct. 1, 2022. And Oregon this spring expanded its paid sick leave law to cover certain public health emergencies, emergency evacuation orders and air quality or heat index issues.
For employers, the pandemic placed added attention on employment law, not only paid leave, but pay issues, as well.
In light of the yearlong extension, employers with locations in New York State should review their paid leave policies and ensure they align with the extension of vaccination leave.
Vaccination paid leave in New York State runs through Dec. 31, 2023, at this point. But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to always remain vigilant of changes and the potential for new laws.