Published March 17, 2021
Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation that grants employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Effective March 12, 2021, under this new 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.
Employees are entitled to a leave of absence for COVID-19 vaccinations which are scheduled during the employee’s regular work hours. Employees who schedule vaccinations outside their regular work schedules do so on their own time. For example, employees are not granted compensatory time off for scheduled vaccinations that occur on pass days or holidays.
Employees who scheduled a COVID-19 vaccination during their regular work hours on or after March 12, 2021 are entitled, upon submission of satisfactory documentation that the absence was for purposes of vaccination, to paid leave for the absence and to request that the time be treated as non-chargeable. Employees who received a vaccination during work hours prior to March 12, 2021, are required to charge leave accruals or be granted a leave without pay.
Up to four hours of paid leave is allowed for each dose of the vaccination. Accordingly, employees who receive a vaccination that is administered in two doses would get up to four hours of paid leave for each dose. Travel time (based on travel to and from the employee’s worksite) is included in this four-hour cap. Absence beyond the four-hour caps must be charged to leave credits.
As with any paid time off, employees should notify their supervisor of the need for the leave first. The appointing authority may require satisfactory medical documentation that the employee’s absence was for the purpose of COVID vaccination. At UB, employees should show their vaccination appointment confirmation to their supervisor prior to the request for time off.
Departments may require satisfactory documentation, such as the confirmation of the vaccine appointment, that the employee’s absence was for the purpose of COVID vaccination.
Employees who take paid leave for the COVID-19 vaccination will need to record the time off as a non-chargeable absence.
For State Employees in SUNY TAS:
Record the time as “Non Worked” time with an absence reason of “COVID Vaccine” on your timecard.