On May 27, 2021, the New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) announced that employees in New York must be permitted to use sick leave under the NY State Sick Leave law to recover from any COVID-19 vaccine side effects. For more information about the state’s mandatory paid sick leave framework, please visit out prior blog post.
It is important to note that NY DOL guidance simply clarifies that employees are entitled to utilize their existing paid sick leave accrued under NY State Sick Leave if they experience side effects related to the COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance does not create any new entitlement to leave; however, employers are reminded that the state’s mandatory vaccine leave law is still in effect. Practically speaking, this means that employees should be permitted to access general NY State Sick Leave if they experience side-effects as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine and have already exhausted their available vaccine leave.