On Thursday, May 27, Governor Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) is issuing guidance to all employers that any necessary recovery period from the COVID-19 vaccine is covered under the state’s Paid Sick Leave Law (NY PSL). In response, the DOL has issued guidance to all employers reminding them that in the unlikely event someone needs time off after experiencing side effects, by law, that is considered a paid sick leave day.
As a reminder, on March 12, Governor Cuomo signed legislation granting public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Under this law, employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued, including NY PSL.
Additionally, employers who have decided to voluntarily offer Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) through September 30, 2021 should note that employees may receive up to 80 hours of paid time off for various reasons, including recovery from the vaccine. Since the original provisions of the FFCRA stated that the law does not permit employers to charge the paid time off against any other paid time off offered, including NY PSL, employees who are paid for recovery from the vaccine under EPSL should not have any time deducted from their NY PSL bank.