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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    New York State Employees entitled to paid time off for COVID-19 vaccinations

    March 22, 2021 / By Tracy Rickett, UNY Human Resources Generalist / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Effective immediately, New York State employers must provide employees with up to four hours of paid time off per COVID-19 vaccination. The new law sunsets on December 31, 2022.

    The new law provides that:

    1. All New York employees must receive a paid leave of absence for “a sufficient period of time” not to exceed four hours per vaccine injection. In other words, employees may be entitled to up to eight hours of paid time off if receiving a two-injection COVID-19 vaccine;
    2. This leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay; and
    3. Employers cannot require employees to use other available leave (such as sick leave or vacation time) before providing this leave.

    The new law applies to both public and private employers.

    In addition to the paid time off requirement, the new law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against any employee who exercises their rights under the law.

    The new law is silent as to any retroactive effect, if any. It is also silent as to the types of documentation employers can request from employees seeking this leave.

    While some employers already voluntarily provide paid time off to employees for COVID-19 vaccination, New York employers should:

    1. Ensure policies are updated to reflect this additional leave entitlement, although the law does not have a policy or specific recordkeeping requirement;
    2. Confirm that no one is required to use available time off under company policy before using this leave;
    3. Communicate this paid time off entitlement to employees;
    4. Decide whether to request proof of vaccination, keeping in mind confidentiality and privacy issues; and
    5. Ensure managers are aware of this leave right and the relevant non-discrimination and retaliation provisions.

    If you have questions on this matter, please contact Susan Latessa, Director of HR/Benefits at (315) 898-2000 or

    TAGGED / Benefits and Administrative Services / Communications / Connectional Ministries / Episcopal Office / Ministry Shares / New Faith Communities / Older Adult Ministry

    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."