On March 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill requiring that all public and private employers in New York State provide their workforces with up to four hours of paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

More particularly, the law requires that Empire State employers provide their employees with “a sufficient period of time, not exceed four hours,” to receive the vaccine. Notably, this is a per-injection entitlement, meaning that employees receiving a two-dose vaccine will be eligible for up to eight hours of paid time off. Additionally, time off under the new law cannot be charged against any other leave to which the employee is entitled (e.g., under New York State’s or City’s respective paid safe and sick time laws). The law also bars discrimination and retaliation against employees for exercising their rights thereunder, including for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

The law took effect upon execution by the Governor and is presently set to expire on December 31, 2022. We will continue to monitor employer obligations and vaccine updates related to COVID-19 in New York. If you have any questions about how these measures impact your workforce, Reed Smith’s experienced Labor & Employment Group is ready to speak with you.