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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

March 18, 2021

Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations applicable to employees of the State as the employer

The New York State Department of Civil Service has published Bulletin 2021-1, of its Attendance and Leave Manual Policy adding a new section, §21.12,  addressing the State's attendance and leave policy applicable to officers and employees of the State as the Employer absent from work for the purpose of COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Attendance and Leave Manual Policy §21.12 

"Legislation enacted in March 2021 (Chapter 77, Laws of 2021) amended the Civil Service Law to entitle all employees regardless of Attendance Rules coverage to take up to four hours of paid leave for receiving each COVID-19 vaccination. This provision became effective March 12, 2021. A copy of this legislation is attached.*

"Specifically, section 159-c of the Civil Service Law was added to entitle State officers and employees to paid leave without charge to leave credits to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. 

"Employees who received a vaccination during work hours prior to March 12, 2021, are required to charge leave accruals or be granted a leave without pay.

"The appointing authority may require satisfactory medical documentation that the employee’s absence was for the purpose of the COVID-19 Vaccination.

"Employees are entitled to a leave of absence for COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled during the employees’ regular work hours.  Employees who undergo vaccinations outside their regular work schedules do so on their own time.  For example, employees are not granted compensatory time off for vaccinations that occur on pass days or holidays.

"Up to four hours of paid leave is allowed for each dose of the vaccination.

"Accordingly, employees who receive a vaccination that is administered in two doses would get up to four hours of paid leave for each dose.  Travel time (based on travel to and from the employee’s worksite) is included in this four-hour cap.  Absence beyond the four-hour caps must be charged to leave credits.

"Any questions about these provisions should be referred to the Attendance and Leave Unit of the Department of Civil Service at (518) 457-2295"



"Chapter 77 of the Laws of 2021 amended the Civil Service Law effective March 12, 2021, by adding §159-c, to read as follows:

"§159-c. Leave time for COVID-19 vaccination. 1. Every public officer, employee of this state, employee of any county, employee of any community college, employee of any public authority, employee of any public benefit corporation, employee of any board of cooperative educational services (BOCES), employee of any vocational education and extension board, or a school district enumerated in section one of chapter five hundred sixty-six of the laws of nineteen hundred sixty-seven, employee of any municipality, employee of any school district or any employee of a participating employer in the New York state and local employees' retirement system or any employee of a participating employer in the New York state teachers' retirement system shall be entitled to absent himself or herself and shall be deemed to have a paid leave of absence from his or her duties or service for a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours per vaccine injection, unless such officer or employee shall receive a greater number of hours pursuant to a collectively bargained agreement or as otherwise authorized by the employer, to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

"2. The entire period of the leave of absence granted pursuant to this section shall be excused leave and shall not be charged against any other leave such public officer or employee is otherwise entitled to.

"3. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to impede, infringe, diminish or impair the rights of a public employee or employer under any law, rule, regulation or collectively negotiated agreement, or the rights and benefits which accrue to employees through collective bargaining agreements, or otherwise diminish the integrity of the existing collective bargaining agreement."



Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on