Did You Get Enough Paid Leave During This Pandemic and Vaccine Period?

The pandemic caused changes to the workplace, most notably forcing many people to work from home. Working from home has shifted some employer expectations and made it harder for workers to take advantage of their paid leave. This has come from an expectation of being “always on.” 


The issue of paid leave became particularly important when it comes to vaccinations. Some experts have said that the lack of paid leave likely directly impacted vaccination rates. Take a closer look to confirm that you received enough paid leave during the pandemic and vaccination period. 


The Lack of Paid Leave and Vaccination Issues

There is no federal law requiring employers to offer paid leave for employees to get vaccinated. There is not even a law requiring unpaid leave. This has likely been an influence on the lower-than-expected vaccination rates. This falls in line with a survey from mid-April that found that lack of time was one of the biggest reasons people had not gotten vaccinated. Other reasons included concerns over the cost and lack of appointments. Given that the vaccine is free, the cost issue typically comes from taking time off of work. 


Some States Required Paid Leave

While there was not a federal requirement for unpaid or paid leave to receive the vaccine, some states and cities did require it. Nevada, for example, requires employers to give employees up to four hours of paid leave, two hours per dose received. California and New York have similar laws. Chicago took a different approach, preventing employers from firing someone for taking time off to get vaccinated. 


Consider Family and Medical Leave Act Paid Leave as Well

Under the FMLA, employers were required to give employees paid leave for COVID-19 reasons. This was required from April to December 2020. It is incentivized until September 30, 2021. Your employer should have allowed you to take advantage of this paid leave if necessary.