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February 2022: New York City Passes Bill Granting Paid Sick Leave to Parents

02 Feb


Update Applicable to:
All employers in New York City

What happened?
On November 23, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill titled “Introduction No. 2448-2021,” permitting employees who are parents to take paid time off to accompany their children when they receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

What are the details?
Effective December 24, 2021, Employers are required to provide employees who are parents or legal guardians of a child with four hours of paid COVID-19 child vaccination time, per injection, and per child (Child Vaccination Leave).

An employee who is a parent may use Child Vaccination Leave to either:

  • accompany the child to get a COVID-19 vaccine; or
  • care for their child who is experiencing temporary side effects from vaccination. 

To be eligible, the employee’s child must be under 18 or a child of any age who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. 

Child Vaccination Leave is in addition to any existing sick leave provided to the employee, as well as any leave to which the employee is entitled under New York law for their own COVID-19 vaccinations.

Employers cannot require covered employees to work additional hours to make up for the time missed or find a replacement to cover their shifts.  However, employers may require up to seven days of “reasonable notice” of the need to use Child Vaccination Leave if such need is foreseeable.  An employer can request reasonable documentation showing the child’s receipt of the COVID-19 vaccination injection within seven days of use of the leave.

Child Vaccination Leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay, without any credits or allowances.  Employees who take Child Vaccination Leave must be paid by the next regular pay date after the leave is taken.  Employees who took Child Vaccination Leave before the bill was enacted must be compensated no later than the next payday after the bill became effective or may have that leave time re-credited.

Employers may be subject to penalties for failing to provide Child Vaccination Leave.  For each instance of Child Vaccination Leave taken by an employee but not compensated by the employer, the employee may be awarded three times the wages that should have been paid or $250, whichever is greater.  Additionally, the employee may be entitled to $500 for each instance when the employer denies Child Vaccination Leave to which the employee was entitled or charges such time against the employee’s paid safe or sick time accruals.

The law expires on December 31, 2022, but employers must pay employees for Child Vaccination Leave taken before then, even if payment would occur after that date.

For more information, please see the links below:

New York Bill

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and immediately adjust their paid leave policies to be in compliance with the new law.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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