On May 27, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that state Department of Labor forthcoming guidance will direct employers to permit the use of NYS Paid Sick Leave for any necessary recovery period from the COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, New Yorkers experiencing side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine can use NYS paid sick leave for any day they need to recuperate.

In support of the announcement, which comes as vaccination rates have begun to plateau across New York and nationally, Governor Cuomo cited a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey finding that among unvaccinated Americans, 48% expressed fears about missing work the following day due to potential side effects as a reason for avoiding the jab. As the governor noted, the state’s new guidance will make clear that “no New Yorker will miss a day’s pay because of getting the vaccine.”

Earlier this year, New York passed legislation granting public and private employees paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. As described in this What You Need to Know Now, the new law permits employees to take up to four hours of leave per injection, requires that employees be compensated at their regular rate of pay, and prohibits employers from deducting such time from any other leave to which an employee is already entitled. For more information on how NYS Paid Sick Leave works, see this What You Need to Know Now.