Compliance Snapshot:

  • Applies to all private employers subject to New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act;
  • Provides four hours of paid time, per child, per injection;
  • Takes effect immediately upon the Mayor’s signature and is retroactive to November 2, 2021 and will remain in effect until December 31, 2022;
  • Due to the retroactive effective date, employers will need to consider retroactive payments for previously taken qualifying leave;
  • Applies to employees who are unable to work or telework due to accompanying a child to receive a COVID-19 vaccination injection.

On November 23, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill requiring employers to provide four hours of paid leave to employees for the purpose of accompanying a child to receive a COVID-19 vaccination injection or care for a child experiencing vaccine side effects (NYC Child Vaccine Leave). NYC Child Vaccine Leave will take immediate effect once signed by Mayor DeBlasio which will be retroactive to November 2, 2021.

Who must provide NYC Child Vaccine Leave?

The bill amended the New York City’s existing Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (NYC PSL) and applies to private employers that are covered by the law. As a reminder, all private employers that employ workers in NYC must provide safe and sick leave under NYC PSL. For more information about NYC PSL please visit the official NYC webpage.

Who is eligible for NYC Child Vaccine Leave?

NYC Child Vaccine Leave is available to an employee who is a parent of a child under the age of 18, or the parent of an older child who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, for use to accompany such child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine injection; or for caring for such child who is experiencing temporary side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine injection. “Parent” is defined as biological, foster, step- or adoptive parent, a legal guardian, or a person who stands in loco parentis.

What are the Qualifying Reasons for NYC Child Vaccine Leave?

An employee may take NYC Child Vaccine Leave for an absence from work due to any of the following reasons associated with the child’s COVID-19 vaccination:

  1. Accompanying a child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine injection;
  2. Caring for a child who cannot attend school or childcare due to temporary side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine injection.

What is the Amount of Leave?

Employees are entitled to four hours of paid time, per child, per injection.

What is the Rate of Pay?

The leave must be provided at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

When must NYC Child Vaccine Leave by Provided?

NYC Child Vaccine Leave will take effect immediately upon the mayor’s signature and will be retroactive to November 2, 2021. Employees who used qualifying NYC Child Vaccine Leave between November 2nd and the law’s effective date must be compensated no later than the payday for the next regular pay period after the law takes effect. Similarly, if an employee used unpaid leave for a purpose covered by NYC Child Vaccine Leave between November 2nd and the law’s effective date, that employee will be entitled to compensation for that time. Employees who used leave under an existing sick leave or paid time off policy will be entitled to have that leave time re-credited.

Employers may require an employee provide reasonable notice of the need to take NYC Child Vaccine Leave (not to exceed seven days, if foreseeable). If the need for leave is not foreseeable, an employer can require the employee to provide notice as soon as practicable.

Can an Employer Offset other Paid Sick Leave?

No. NYC Child Vaccine Leave is in addition to any existing sick leave provided to the employee, as well as the existing leave provided to employees under New York State’s Vaccine Leave Law.

Can an Employer Require Documentation from the Employee?

Yes. An employer may require that the employee provide reasonable documentation of the child’s receipt of the vaccine injection within seven days.

Is there a Notice Requirement?

While there is no notice or posting requirement, employers are encouraged to inform their NYC employee’s of NYC Child Vaccine Leave.

Are there any Employer Prohibitions?

Employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against any employee who takes or requests NYC Child Vaccine Leave or who otherwise exercise their rights under the law.

How long will NYC Child Vaccine Leave be Effective?

The law is set to expire on December 31, 2022.

Employer Considerations

NYC employers should review their existing paid leave policies relating to COVID-19 in light of this new requirement and in anticipation of the mayor’s signature. Due to the retroactive effective date, employers will need to consider retroactive payments for previously taken qualifying leave.

Additional Resources

Lizet Ramirez — Lizet is a Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia One, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Lizet enjoys live music, travel, hiking and spa days.