Speaker Carl Heastie, Governmental Employees Committee Chair Peter J. Abbate, Jr. and Assemblymember Charles D. Fall announced today that the Assembly passed legislation granting time off for public and private sector employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination (A.3354-B, Fall).
“Public health officials have stressed that slowing the spread of this virus and protecting our most vulnerable populations will require us to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible,” said Speaker Heastie. “This legislation will help to expedite the immunization of our healthcare workers, police officers, firefighters, teachers and all New York workers who have kept our great state moving forward in these trying times.”
“Throughout this devastating pandemic, our workforce has provided the vital goods and services New Yorkers depend on,” said Assemblymember Abbate. “By authorizing paid leave for vaccinations, not just for those who work in government but for private-sector employees as well, we help all New York move ever closer toward greater immunity to and eventual recovery from COVID-19.”
“I am proud to be joined by so many of my colleagues in supporting this important and sensible piece of legislation that will make it easier for New Yorkers to get vaccinated,” said Assemblymember Fall. “The working men and women of New York, whether in public or private service, are the backbone of our state. They should not have to worry about being docked pay or using time off they have earned to receive a vaccination against the coronavirus.”
While many public employees are now authorized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is vital that these essential civil servants, which include healthcare workers, emergency medical service personnel, staff in congregate care facilities, police officers, firefighters, corrections officers, teachers and more, receive the vaccine in as expeditious a manner as possible in order to continue serving on the frontlines of this pandemic at decreased risk to themselves and their families. Similar to existing laws which provide employees with paid time off for health-related matters such as mammograms and prostate cancer screenings, this legislation grants both public and private sector employees up to four hours of paid leave to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
This legislation builds on a number of measures already passed by the Assembly Majority that have helped the people of New York weather the impacts of COVID-19, including protecting New Yorkers from evictions and foreclosures, extending unemployment insurance benefits and expanding SNAP benefits to include online grocery purchases and deliveries.