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Coronavirus

New York Says Vaccinated Workers Can Use Sick Leave if Needed

ALBANY, New York — Employers aren’t allowed to refuse paid sick days if people feel ill after getting a dose of the vaccine, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said..

Cuomo said the state’s labor department will issue guidance that makes it clear that employees can take a paid sick day to recover from rare but potential side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Federal health officials say the vaccine is safe and that side effects aren’t unusual. Some people have reported fever, chills, nausea, a sore arm, fatigue or headache after receiving a dose.

“I want to be crystal clear — no New Yorker will miss a day’s pay because of getting the vaccine,” Cuomo said Thursday.

New York has a paid sick leave law on the books, and another state law allows employees to use up to four hours of excused leave per COVID-19 vaccine dose. That time can’t be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued.

About 46% of New York’s 20 million residents are fully vaccinated, according to federal data. That’s above the national average of 40%.

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