New York State Mandates Paid COVID-19 Vaccine Leave

Effective March 12, 2021, all public and private employers in New York State must provide their employees with up to four (4) hours of paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Employees receiving two-dose vaccines are entitled to up to four (4) hours of paid leave for each injection, for a potential total of eight (8) hours of paid leave. This paid time off may not be charged against an employee’s other paid leave entitlements, including state-mandated paid sick leave.

It is not clear whether the law applies retroactively to employees who took time off from work to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to March 12, 2021, and the statutory language does not address employer notice or employee documentation requirements. Hopefully the New York State Department of Labor will issue some interpretive guidance on the law within the next few weeks.

According to its language, the law will automatically expire on December 31, 2022.

If you have questions about COVID-19 workplace issues, or any other HR matter, please contact us at 631-794-7400 or